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Sample records for natural background approach

  1. Teaching about Natural Background Radiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Azmi, Darwish; Karunakara, N.; Mustapha, Amidu O.

    2013-01-01

    Ambient gamma dose rates in air were measured at different locations (indoors and outdoors) to demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of natural background radiation in the environment and to show that levels vary from one location to another, depending on the underlying geology. The effect of a lead shield on a gamma radiation field was also…

  2. Teaching about natural background radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Azmi, Darwish; Karunakara, N.; Mustapha, Amidu O.

    2013-07-01

    Ambient gamma dose rates in air were measured at different locations (indoors and outdoors) to demonstrate the ubiquitous nature of natural background radiation in the environment and to show that levels vary from one location to another, depending on the underlying geology. The effect of a lead shield on a gamma radiation field was also demonstrated to emphasize the important role of shielding in radiation protection. The measurements were carried out with a Geiger-Muller (GM)-based dosimeter and a NaI scintillation gamma-ray spectrometer, which are normally available in physics laboratories. Radioactivity in household materials was demonstrated using a gas mantle as an example.

  3. Ambient background particulate composition, outdoor natural background: interferents/clutter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paterno, Dorothea

    2012-06-01

    It has proven a very difficult task to discriminate an actual BW threat from the natural occurring ambient particulate aerosol, which includes a significant fraction of particles consisting of mixed mineral and biological material. The interferent particles [clutter] (bio and non bio) concentration varies widely both by location, weather and season and diurnally. Naturally occurring background particulates are composed of fungal and bacterial spores both fragments and components, plant fragments and debris, animal fragments and debris, all of which may be associated with inert dust or combustion material. Some or all of which could also be considered to be an interferent to a biological warfare detector and cause these biodector systems to cause False Alarms by non specific BW bio detectors. I will share analysis of current long term background data sets.

  4. Speech recognition in natural background noise.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2013-01-01

    In the real world, human speech recognition nearly always involves listening in background noise. The impact of such noise on speech signals and on intelligibility performance increases with the separation of the listener from the speaker. The present behavioral experiment provides an overview of the effects of such acoustic disturbances on speech perception in conditions approaching ecologically valid contexts. We analysed the intelligibility loss in spoken word lists with increasing listener-to-speaker distance in a typical low-level natural background noise. The noise was combined with the simple spherical amplitude attenuation due to distance, basically changing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Therefore, our study draws attention to some of the most basic environmental constraints that have pervaded spoken communication throughout human history. We evaluated the ability of native French participants to recognize French monosyllabic words (spoken at 65.3 dB(A), reference at 1 meter) at distances between 11 to 33 meters, which corresponded to the SNRs most revealing of the progressive effect of the selected natural noise (-8.8 dB to -18.4 dB). Our results showed that in such conditions, identity of vowels is mostly preserved, with the striking peculiarity of the absence of confusion in vowels. The results also confirmed the functional role of consonants during lexical identification. The extensive analysis of recognition scores, confusion patterns and associated acoustic cues revealed that sonorant, sibilant and burst properties were the most important parameters influencing phoneme recognition. . Altogether these analyses allowed us to extract a resistance scale from consonant recognition scores. We also identified specific perceptual consonant confusion groups depending of the place in the words (onset vs. coda). Finally our data suggested that listeners may access some acoustic cues of the CV transition, opening interesting perspectives for future studies

  5. Speech Recognition in Natural Background Noise

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Julien; Dentel, Laure; Meunier, Fanny

    2013-01-01

    In the real world, human speech recognition nearly always involves listening in background noise. The impact of such noise on speech signals and on intelligibility performance increases with the separation of the listener from the speaker. The present behavioral experiment provides an overview of the effects of such acoustic disturbances on speech perception in conditions approaching ecologically valid contexts. We analysed the intelligibility loss in spoken word lists with increasing listener-to-speaker distance in a typical low-level natural background noise. The noise was combined with the simple spherical amplitude attenuation due to distance, basically changing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Therefore, our study draws attention to some of the most basic environmental constraints that have pervaded spoken communication throughout human history. We evaluated the ability of native French participants to recognize French monosyllabic words (spoken at 65.3 dB(A), reference at 1 meter) at distances between 11 to 33 meters, which corresponded to the SNRs most revealing of the progressive effect of the selected natural noise (−8.8 dB to −18.4 dB). Our results showed that in such conditions, identity of vowels is mostly preserved, with the striking peculiarity of the absence of confusion in vowels. The results also confirmed the functional role of consonants during lexical identification. The extensive analysis of recognition scores, confusion patterns and associated acoustic cues revealed that sonorant, sibilant and burst properties were the most important parameters influencing phoneme recognition. . Altogether these analyses allowed us to extract a resistance scale from consonant recognition scores. We also identified specific perceptual consonant confusion groups depending of the place in the words (onset vs. coda). Finally our data suggested that listeners may access some acoustic cues of the CV transition, opening interesting perspectives for future studies

  6. A review on natural background radiation

    PubMed Central

    Shahbazi-Gahrouei, Daryoush; Gholami, Mehrdad; Setayandeh, Samaneh

    2013-01-01

    The world is naturally radioactive and approximately 82% of human-absorbed radiation doses, which are out of control, arise from natural sources such as cosmic, terrestrial, and exposure from inhalation or intake radiation sources. In recent years, several international studies have been carried out, which have reported different values regarding the effect of background radiation on human health. Gamma radiation emitted from natural sources (background radiation) is largely due to primordial radionuclides, mainly 232Th and 238U series, and their decay products, as well as 40K, which exist at trace levels in the earth's crust. Their concentrations in soil, sands, and rocks depend on the local geology of each region in the world. Naturally occurring radioactive materials generally contain terrestrial-origin radionuclides, left over since the creation of the earth. In addition, the existence of some springs and quarries increases the dose rate of background radiation in some regions that are known as high level background radiation regions. The type of building materials used in houses can also affect the dose rate of background radiations. The present review article was carried out to consider all of the natural radiations, including cosmic, terrestrial, and food radiation. PMID:24223380

  7. Natural inflation in 5D warped backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González Felipe, R.; Santos, N. M. C.

    2008-07-01

    In light of the five-year data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), we discuss models of inflation based on the pseudo Nambu-Goldstone potential predicted in five-dimensional gauge theories for different backgrounds: flat Minkowski, anti de Sitter, and dilatonic spacetime. In this framework, the inflaton potential is naturally flat due to shift symmetries and the mass scales associated with it are related to 5D geometrical quantities.

  8. Natural radiation background in metropolitan Taipei.

    PubMed

    Weng, P S; Chu, T C; Chen, C F

    1991-06-01

    A high-pressure ionization chamber was used to measure the natural background radiation in metropolitan Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C. during a period in 1987-1988. The average exposure rate was 27.55 x 10(-10) C kg-1 h-1 including cosmic radiation, but the radon contribution was excluded. Scintillation survey meter, gamma-ray spectroscopy for soil samples, in-situ measurement with a NaI(Tl) detector coupled to a portable multichannel analyzer, instrumental neutron activation analysis of rock samples, and even thermoluminescent dosimeters were used as complementary measuring devices. Areas of higher radiation background were detected. They are the radium-bearing Peitou stones, an unusual occurrence of uraniferous zone at Sanhsia, and uranium precipitation in the glassy olivine basalt in a tea field at Tachi. All these areas are located in suburban sites of Taipei. Three types of building in Taipei City were selected for radon detection. No significantly elevated level of radon was detected, since Taipei is located in a semitropical area where ventilation of buildings is not a problem. PMID:1941767

  9. Sinning against nature: the theory of background conditions

    PubMed Central

    Blackford, R

    2006-01-01

    Debates about the moral and political acceptability of particular sexual practices and new technologies often include appeals to a supposed imperative to follow nature. If nature is understood as the totality of all phenomena or as those things that are not artificial, there is little prospect of developing a successful argument to impugn interference with it or sinning against it. At the same time, there are serious difficulties with approaches that seek to identify "proper" human functioning. An alternative approach is to understand interference with nature as acting in a manner that threatens basic background conditions to human choice. Arguably, the theory of background conditions helps explain much of the hostility to practices and technologies that allegedly sin against nature. The theory does not, however, entail that appeals to nature are relevant or rational. Such appeals should be subjected to sceptical scrutiny. Indeed, the theory suggests that arguments against practices and technologies that can be seen as contrary to nature sometimes exercise a psychological attraction that is disproportional to their actual cogency. PMID:17074819

  10. Chromo-natural model in anisotropic background

    SciTech Connect

    Maleknejad, Azadeh; Erfani, Encieh E-mail: eerfani@ipm.ir

    2014-03-01

    In this work we study the chromo-natural inflation model in the anisotropic setup. Initiating inflation from Bianchi type-I cosmology, we analyze the system thoroughly during the slow-roll inflation, from both analytical and numerical points of view. We show that the isotropic FRW inflation is an attractor of the system. In other words, anisotropies are damped within few e-folds and the chromo-natural model respects the cosmic no-hair conjecture. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in the slow-roll limit, the anisotropies in both chromo-natural and gauge-flation models share the same dynamics.

  11. Assessment of natural background levels in potentially contaminated coastal aquifers.

    PubMed

    Molinari, A; Chidichimo, F; Straface, S; Guadagnini, A

    2014-04-01

    The estimation of natural background levels (NBLs) of dissolved concentrations of target chemical species in subsurface reservoirs relies on a proper assessment of the effects of forcing terms driving flow and transport processes taking place within the system and whose dynamics drive background concentration values. We propose coupling methodologies based on (a) global statistical analyses and (b) numerical modeling of system dynamics to distinguish between the impacts of different types of external forcing components influencing background concentration values. We focus on the joint application of a statistical methodology based on Component Separation and experimental/numerical modeling studies of groundwater flow and transport for the NBL estimation of selected chemical species in potentially contaminated coastal aquifers. We consider a site which is located in Calabria, Italy, and constitutes a typical example of a Mediterranean coastal aquifer which has been subject to intense industrial development. Our study is keyed to the characterization of NBLs of manganese and sulfate and is geared to the proper identification of the importance of a natural external forcing (i.e., seawater intrusion) on NBL assessment. Results from the Component Separation statistical approach are complemented by numerical simulations of the advective-dispersive processes that could influence the distribution of chemical species (i.e., sulfate) within the system. Estimated NBLs for manganese are consistent with the geochemical composition of soil samples. While Component Separation ascribes the largest detected sulfate concentrations to anthropogenic sources, our numerical modeling analysis suggests that they are mainly related to the natural process of seawater intrusion. Our results indicate that the use of statistical methodologies in complex groundwater systems should be assisted by a detailed characterization of the dynamics of natural (and/or induced) processes to distinguish

  12. Dual-tracer background subtraction approach for fluorescent molecular tomography

    PubMed Central

    Holt, Robert W.; El-Ghussein, Fadi; Davis, Scott C.; Samkoe, Kimberley S.; Gunn, Jason R.; Leblond, Frederic

    2013-01-01

    Abstract. Diffuse fluorescence tomography requires high contrast-to-background ratios to accurately reconstruct inclusions of interest. This is a problem when imaging the uptake of fluorescently labeled molecularly targeted tracers in tissue, which can result in high levels of heterogeneously distributed background uptake. We present a dual-tracer background subtraction approach, wherein signal from the uptake of an untargeted tracer is subtracted from targeted tracer signal prior to image reconstruction, resulting in maps of targeted tracer binding. The approach is demonstrated in simulations, a phantom study, and in a mouse glioma imaging study, demonstrating substantial improvement over conventional and homogenous background subtraction image reconstruction approaches. PMID:23292612

  13. Study of Natural Background Radiation around Gurvanbulag Uranium Deposit Area

    SciTech Connect

    Enkhbat, N.; Norov, N.; Khuukhenkhuu, G.; Otgooloi, B.; Bat-Erdene, B.

    2009-03-31

    In this work, we will show the study of natural background radiation level around the Gurvanbulag (GB) uranium deposit area in the eastern part of Mongolia. We collected environmental soil samples from 102 points around GB Uranium deposit. Collected samples were measured by HPGe gamma spectrometer at Nuclear Research Center, National University of Mongolia. The averaged activity concentrations of Ra-226, Th-232, K-40, and Cs-137 were 37.1, 29, 939, and 17.7 Bq/kg, respectively.

  14. Simulation of natural radioactivity backgrounds in the JUNO central detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xin-Ying; Deng, Zi-Yan; Wen, Liang-Jian; Li, Wei-Dong; You, Zheng-Yun; Yu, Chun-Xu; Zhang, Yu-Mei; Lin, Tao

    2016-02-01

    The Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO) is an experiment proposed to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy and probe the fundamental properties of neutrino oscillation. The JUNO central detector is a spherical liquid scintillator detector with 20 kton fiducial mass. It is required to achieve a energy resolution with very low radioactive background, which is a big challenge to the detector design. In order to ensure the detector performance can meet the physics requirements, reliable detector simulation is necessary to provide useful information for the detector design. A simulation study of natural radioactivity backgrounds in the JUNO central detector has been performed to guide the detector design and set requirements for the radio-purity of the detector materials. The accidental background induced by natural radioactivity in the JUNO central detector is 1.1/day. The result is satisfied for the experiment. Supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDA10010900), CAS Center for Excellence in Particle Physics (CCEPP), National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Large-Scale Scientific Facility Program, Joint Large-Scale Scientific Facility Funds of NSFC and CAS (U1332201)

  15. Image Discrimination Models Predict Object Detection in Natural Backgrounds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, Albert J., Jr.; Rohaly, A. M.; Watson, Andrew B.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Object detection involves looking for one of a large set of object sub-images in a large set of background images. Image discrimination models only predict the probability that an observer will detect a difference between two images. In a recent study based on only six different images, we found that discrimination models can predict the relative detectability of objects in those images, suggesting that these simpler models may be useful in some object detection applications. Here we replicate this result using a new, larger set of images. Fifteen images of a vehicle in an other-wise natural setting were altered to remove the vehicle and mixed with the original image in a proportion chosen to make the target neither perfectly recognizable nor unrecognizable. The target was also rotated about a vertical axis through its center and mixed with the background. Sixteen observers rated these 30 target images and the 15 background-only images for the presence of a vehicle. The likelihoods of the observer responses were computed from a Thurstone scaling model with the assumption that the detectabilities are proportional to the predictions of an image discrimination model. Three image discrimination models were used: a cortex transform model, a single channel model with a contrast sensitivity function filter, and the Root-Mean-Square (RMS) difference of the digital target and background-only images. As in the previous study, the cortex transform model performed best; the RMS difference predictor was second best; and last, but still a reasonable predictor, was the single channel model. Image discrimination models can predict the relative detectabilities of objects in natural backgrounds.

  16. An analytical approach for treating background in spectral analysis measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Ian; Holmes, Thomas W.; Gardner, Robin P.

    2015-11-01

    A method of determining the spectral shape of background radiation present in experimental spectra via a mathematical approach is presented. Elements of interest will be subtracted from an experimental spectrum using the linear correlation coefficient across a characteristic peak to determine their contribution. Once all elements of interest are removed, the remainder of the experimental spectrum should represent an approximation of the background. This approximation can then be used in conjunction with library least-squares to determine the background and elemental contributions to the unknown spectrum.

  17. Measurement of the natural radiation background level of Riyadh City

    SciTech Connect

    Al-Kusayer, T.A.; Al-Haj, A.N.

    1987-01-01

    A gamma spectroscopy system was used to analyze the radionuclides in soil samples and to determine the cumulative radioactivity of terrestrial origin in the Riyadh City area. Minimal work has been done in the 1980s to measure the natural background radiation level in Saudi Arabia by using thermoluminescent dosimeters. The measurement of the natural radioactivity in the Riyadh area for the radionuclide concentration in becquerels per kilogram, the exposure rate arising from radionuclides in grays per hour, and the equivalent dose rate in sieverts per hour are the goals of this work. Soil samples were collected from 21 places in Riyadh City. Each site was sampled for two depth profiles, 0 to 5 cm and 5 to 15 cm. These measurements were taken before the Chernobyl accident, and in the absence of any measurements for that area in the past, this work can be considered in future work for a reference /sup 137/Cs concentration in Riyadh soil to determine the /sup 137/Cs increase in the soil after the Chernobyl accident.

  18. In-mine testing of a natural background sensor, part B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martzloff, F. D.

    1981-01-01

    The capability of a natural background sensor for measuring the thickness of top coal on a longwall face was examined. The limitations on the time during which tests could be performed, and the roof conditions, did not produce readings of top coal measurements during the shearer operation. It was demonstrated that the system is capable to survive operating conditions in the mine environment, while the static tests confirmed that the natural background sensor approach is a valid method of measuring top coal thickness in mines where the roof rock provides a constant radiation level. It is concluded that the practical results will improve sequent development of an integrated vertical control system which is information from the natural background system.

  19. Using epicenter location to differentiate events from natural background seismicity

    SciTech Connect

    Myers, S C; Walter, W R

    1999-07-26

    Efforts to more effectively monitor the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (commonly referred to as the CTBT) include research into methods of seismic discrimination. The most common seismic discriminants exploit differences in seismic amplitude for differing source types. Amplitude discriminants are quite effective when wave-propagation (a.k.a. path) effects are properly accounted for. However, because path effects can be exceedingly complex, path calibration is often accomplished empirically by spatially interpolating amplitude characteristics for a set of calibration earthquakes with techniques like Bayesian kriging. As a result, amplitude discriminants can be highly effective when natural seismicity provides sufficient event coverage to characterize a region. However, amplitude discrimination can become less effective for events that are far from historical (path-calibration) events. It is intuitive that events occurring at a distance from historical seismicity patterns are inherently suspect. However, quantifying the degree to which a particular event is unexpected could be of great utility in CTBT monitoring. Epicenter location is commonly used as a qualitative discriminant. For instance, if a seismic event is located in the deep ocean, then the event is generally considered to be an earthquake. Such qualitative uses of seismic location have great utility; however, a quantitative method to differentiate events from the natural pattern of seismicity could significantly advance the applicability of location as a discriminant for source type. Clustering of earthquake epicenters is the underlying aspect of earthquake seismicity that allows for an epicenter-based discriminant, and we explore the use of fractal characterization of clustering to characterize seismicity patters. We then evaluate the likelihood that an event at any given location is drawn from the background population. The use of this technique can help to identifying events that are inconsistent

  20. The nature of the Diffuse Gamma-Ray Background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fornasa, Mattia; Sánchez-Conde, Miguel A.

    2015-10-01

    We review the current understanding of the Diffuse Gamma-Ray Background (DGRB). The DGRB is what remains of the total measured gamma-ray emission after the subtraction of the resolved sources and of the diffuse Galactic foregrounds. It is interpreted as the cumulative emission of sources that are not bright enough to be detected individually. Yet, its exact composition remains unveiled. Well-established astrophysical source populations (e.g. blazars, misaligned AGNs, star-forming galaxies and millisecond pulsars) all represent guaranteed contributors to the DGRB. More exotic scenarios, such as Dark Matter annihilation or decay, may contribute as well. In this review, we describe how these components have been modeled in the literature and how the DGRB can be used to provide valuable information on each of them. We summarize the observational information currently available on the DGRB, paying particular attention to the most recent measurement of its intensity energy spectrum by the Fermi LAT Collaboration. We also discuss the novel analyses of the auto-correlation angular power spectrum of the DGRB and of its cross-correlation with tracers of the large-scale structure of the Universe. New data sets already (or soon) available are expected to provide further insight on the nature of this emission. By summarizing where we stand on the current knowledge of the DGRB, this review is intended both as a useful reference for those interested in the topic and as a means to trigger new ideas for further research.

  1. Estimating natural background groundwater chemistry, Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Verplanck, Phillip L.; Nordstrom, D Kirk; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Walker, Bruce M.

    2010-01-01

    This 2 1/2 day field trip will present an overview of a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project whose objective was to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry at the Questa molybdenum mine, New Mexico. Because of intense debate among stakeholders regarding pre-mining groundwater chemistry standards, the New Mexico Environment Department and Chevron Mining Inc. (formerly Molycorp) agreed that the USGS should determine pre-mining groundwater quality at the site. In 2001, the USGS began a 5-year, multidisciplinary investigation to estimate pre-mining groundwater chemistry utilizing a detailed assessment of a proximal natural analog site and applied an interdisciplinary approach to infer pre-mining conditions. The trip will include a surface tour of the Questa mine and key locations in the erosion scar areas and along the Red River. The trip will provide participants with a detailed understanding of geochemical processes that influence pre-mining environmental baselines in mineralized areas and estimation techniques for determining pre-mining baseline conditions.

  2. A novel approach to model EPIC variable background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marelli, M.; De Luca, A.; Salvetti, D.; Belfiore, A.; Pizzocaro, D.

    2016-06-01

    In the past years XMM-Newton revolutionized our way to look at the X-ray sky. With more than 200 Ms of exposure, it allowed for numerous discoveries in every field of astronomy. Unfortunately, about 35% of the observing time is badly affected by soft proton flares, with background increasing by orders of magnitudes hampering any classical analysis of field sources. One of the main aim of the EXTraS ("Exploring the X-ray Transient and variable Sky") project is to characterise the variability of XMM-Newton sources within each single observation, including periods of high background. This posed severe challenges. I will describe a novel approach that we implemented within the EXTraS project to produce background-subtracted light curves, that allows to treat the case of very faint sources and very large proton flares. EXTraS light curves will be soon released to the community, together with new tools that will allow the user to reproduce EXTraS results, as well as to extend a similar analysis to future data. Results of this work (including an unprecedented characterisation of the soft proton phenomenon and instrument response) will also serve as a reference for future missions and will be particularly relevant for the Athena observatory.

  3. Is natural background or radiation from nuclear power plants leukemogenic

    SciTech Connect

    Cronkite, E.P.

    1989-01-01

    The objective in this review is to provide some facts about normal hemopoietic cell proliferation relevant to leukemogenesis, physical, chemical, and biological facts about radiation effects with the hope that each person will be able to decide for themselves whether background radiation or emissions from nuclear power plants and facilities significantly add to the spontaneous leukemia incidence. 23 refs., 1 tab.

  4. Social Studies: Their Nature and Potential. Background Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wronski, Stanley P.

    The nature of the social studies and their international dimensions are examined. Discussion focuses on the definition of the social studies and the role of knowledge and ways of knowing in the social studies. In contrast to the social sciences, the social studies are designed primarily for instructional purposes. They include the substantive…

  5. Natural approach to quantum dissipation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taj, David; Öttinger, Hans Christian

    2015-12-01

    The dissipative dynamics of a quantum system weakly coupled to one or several reservoirs is usually described in terms of a Lindblad generator. The popularity of this approach is certainly due to the linear character of the latter. However, while such linearity finds justification from an underlying Hamiltonian evolution in some scaling limit, it does not rely on solid physical motivations at small but finite values of the coupling constants, where the generator is typically used for applications. The Markovian quantum master equations we propose are instead supported by very natural thermodynamic arguments. They themselves arise from Markovian master equations for the system and the environment which preserve factorized states and mean energy and generate entropy at a non-negative rate. The dissipative structure is driven by an entropic map, called modular, which introduces nonlinearity. The generated modular dynamical semigroup (MDS) guarantees for the positivity of the time evolved state the correct steady state properties, the positivity of the entropy production, and a positive Onsager matrix with symmetry relations arising from Green-Kubo formulas. We show that the celebrated Davies Lindblad generator, obtained through the Born and the secular approximations, generates a MDS. In doing so we also provide a nonlinear MDS which is supported by a weak coupling argument and is free from the limitations of the Davies generator.

  6. Anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background: an analytic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Wayne; Sugiyama, Naoshi

    1995-05-01

    We introduce a conceptually simple yet powerful analytic method which traces the structure of cosmic microwave background anisotropies to better than 5%-10% in temperature fluctuations on all scales. It is applicable to any model in which the gravitational potential is known and last scattering is sufficiently early. Moreover, it recovers and explains the presence of the 'Doppler peaks' at degree scales as driven acoustic oscillations of the photon-baryon fluid. We treat in detail such subtleties as the time dependence of the gravitational driving force, anisotropic stress from the neutrino quadrupole, and damping during the recombination process, again all from an analytic standpoint. We apply this formalism to the standard cold dark matter model to gain physical insight into the anisotropies, including the dependence of the peak locations and heights on cosmological parameters such as Omegab and h. Furthermore, the ionization history controls damping due to the finite thickness of the last scattering surface, which is in fact mianly caused by photon diffusion. In addition to being a powerful probe into the nature of anisotropies, this treatment can be used in place of the standard Boltzmann code where 5%-10% accuracy in temperature fluctuations is satisfactory and/or speed is essential. Equally importantly, it can be used as a portable standard by which numerical codes can be tested and compared.

  7. The natural approach to osteoporosis.

    PubMed

    Bartolozzi, Emanuela

    2015-01-01

    Osteoporosis is normally the result of a wrong life-style (diet, physical inactivity, smoke, dental hygiene, intestinal dysbiosis,…) and environmental toxicity which stimulate the chronic expression of inflammatory genes and alter the immuno-endocrine balance. A natural approch should face all the factors involved, leading the patients to become aware of their own responsability, and helping them with natural therapies, healthy food and life-style which support their body in the process of self-healing. PMID:26604935

  8. Pixel detectors in double beta decay experiments, a new approach for background reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jose, J. M.; Čermák, P.; Štekl, I.; Shitov, Yu. A.; Rukhadze, E. N.; Rukhadze, N. I.; Brudanin, V. B.; Fiederle, M.; Fauler, A.; Loaiza, P.

    2013-08-01

    Double beta decay (ββ) experiments are challenging frontiers in contemporary physics. These experiments have the potential to investigate more about neutrinos (eg. nature and mass). The main challenge for these experiments is the reduction of background. The group at IEAP, CTU in Prague is investigating a new approach using pixel detectors Timepix. Pixel detector offer background reduction capabilities with its ability to identify the particle interaction (from the 2D signature it generates). However, use of pixel detectors has some challenges such as the presence of readout electronics near the sensing medium and heat dissipation. Different aspects of pixel setup (identification of radio-impurities, selection of radio-pure materials) and proposed experimental setup are presented. Also, results of preliminary background measurements (performed on the surface and in the underground laboratories) using the prototype setups are presented.

  9. Improved radiological/nuclear source localization in variable NORM background: An MLEM approach with segmentation data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Penny, Robert D.; Crowley, Tanya M.; Gardner, Barbara M.; Mandell, Myron J.; Guo, Yanlin; Haas, Eric B.; Knize, Duane J.; Kuharski, Robert A.; Ranta, Dale; Shyffer, Ryan; Labov, Simon; Nelson, Karl; Seilhan, Brandon; Valentine, John D.

    2015-06-01

    A novel approach and algorithm have been developed to rapidly detect and localize both moving and static radiological/nuclear (R/N) sources from an airborne platform. Current aerial systems with radiological sensors are limited in their ability to compensate for variable naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) background. The proposed approach suppresses the effects of NORM background by incorporating additional information to segment the survey area into regions over which the background is likely to be uniform. The method produces pixelated Source Activity Maps (SAMs) of both target and background radionuclide activity over the survey area. The task of producing the SAMs requires (1) the development of a forward model which describes the transformation of radionuclide activity to detector measurements and (2) the solution of the associated inverse problem. The inverse problem is ill-posed as there are typically fewer measurements than unknowns. In addition the measurements are subject to Poisson statistical noise. The Maximum-Likelihood Expectation-Maximization (MLEM) algorithm is used to solve the inverse problem as it is well suited for under-determined problems corrupted by Poisson noise. A priori terrain information is incorporated to segment the reconstruction space into regions within which we constrain NORM background activity to be uniform. Descriptions of the algorithm and examples of performance with and without segmentation on simulated data are presented.

  10. The natural approach to osteoporosis

    PubMed Central

    Bartolozzi, Emanuela

    2015-01-01

    Summary Osteoporosis is normally the result of a wrong life-style (diet, physical inactivity, smoke, dental hygiene, intestinal dysbiosis,…) and environmental toxicity which stimulate the chronic expression of inflammatory genes and alter the immuno-endocrine balance. A natural approch should face all the factors involved, leading the patients to become aware of their own responsability, and helping them with natural therapies, healthy food and life-style which support their body in the process of self-healing. PMID:26604935

  11. Synthesized performance model of thermal imaging systems based on natural background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Song-lin; Wang, Ji-hui; Wang, Xiao-wei; Jin, Wei-qi

    2013-09-01

    The impact of nature environment on the synthesized performance of thermal imaging systems was researched comparing with the targeting task performance (TTP) model. A nature background noise factor was presented and introduced into the minimum resolvable temperature difference channel width (MRTD-CW) model. The method for determining the nature background noise factor was given. A information quantity model based on MRTD-CW model was proposed to evaluate the impact of nature environment on the synthesized performance of thermal imaging systems. A normalized parameter was introduced into the information quantity model. Different background experiments were performed, and the results were analyzed and compared with those of TTP model.

  12. An approach of reducing the background induced by neutrons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shen, C.; Gu, Y.; Sun, Y.; Ma, Y.; Dai, C.; Fan, Z.

    1985-01-01

    The background induced by interactions of neutrons with detector material (and shield material) is difficult to be rejected. It is one of the most important factors to affect the sensitivity of a balloon-borne gamma-ray astronomical telescope. The main component of neutron flux at the major detector of the telescope is incident neutrons, that consists of atmospheric neutrons and neutrons locally produced in the balloon platform. Therefore, shielding the detector from incident neutrons is a possible way to reduce the background. NaI (T1) crystal is very widely used in gamma-ray astronomical telescopes. Through balloon-borne experiment it is shown that up 6 LiF shield is effective to reduce the background in NaI crystal.

  13. A Novel Approach to Deepen Understanding of Undergraduates' Environmental Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hvenegaard, Glen

    2007-01-01

    Universities often lack a detailed understanding of the environmental backgrounds of their students. One way to improve understanding is through segmentation, which breaks down a population into groups of people with similar characteristics. This study aims to use segmentation to determine groups within the student population, based on…

  14. Human Blood Typing: A Forensic Science Approach. Part I: Background.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kobilinsky, Lawrence; Sheehan, Francis X.

    1988-01-01

    In this article, part I of a series, the forensic methods used in "typing" human blood, which as physical evidence is often found in the dried state, are outlined. Background information about individualization, antibody typing, fresh blood, dried blood, and additional systems is provided. (CW)

  15. Multidisciplinary approach in natural hazards: avoiding misunderstandings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angignard, M.

    2009-04-01

    It is today widely recognised that a multidisciplinary approach is worthwhile when it comes to natural hazards. While the knowledge of scientists from different fields about those problematic is getting deeper everyday, the need for a brighter understanding of natural hazards and the risk they induce becomes more and more obvious. A risk situation cannot be limited to a single scientific field. It involves many components, each of them studied by a specific science. The understanding of the whole question of risk requires a dialogue between those sciences. The large amount of research projects based on a multidisciplinary approach shows that this need for dialogue is known and accepted. However, the participants of such projects encounter a problem in communication: they do not speak the same language. Even though scientists are willing to share with colleagues from other fields, they are facing the hinder of the specific terminology they use in their work. Social scientists, natural scientists and engineering scientists do not speak the same language, although they might use the same words. For instance, basic terms like "risk", "vulnerability", or concepts like "risk management" or "governance" might have very different meanings according to the scientists involved. The approach of risk situation itself is specific to each science. How can this hindrance be avoided? The first step of every research project (and further, every work in group on a risk related situation) could be a framing about terminology. It is necessary that all partners acknowledge the different vocabularies involved, and understand that their background and professional context influences their understanding of terms and concepts. The aim is not to negate those vocabularies, nor to define a new one that would fit to all sciences. It is to ensure that all partners are aware of the possible misunderstandings and accept that others might use other terminologies. Thus, major misunderstandings

  16. GPR background removal using a directional total variation minimisation approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rashed, Essam A.

    2015-12-01

    Ground penetrating radar (GPR) is a leading geophysical subsurface imaging tool for various purposes. This efficiency, however, is compromised by the interference of different types of noise. Background noise (clutter) is one of the nagging types of noise that undermines the high-resolution imaging capabilities of GPR. This study presents the experience of applying a directional total variation minimisation (DTVM) filter to attenuate clutter in GPR data. The application of DTVM to both synthetic and field GPR data proves its great capability to attenuate clutter without affecting the features of interest of a GPR section. The results also show that the proposed DTVM method affords superior image quality than both the most commonly used and the most recently published background removal techniques.

  17. Influence of background music on preschoolers' behavior: a naturalistic approach.

    PubMed

    Godeli, M R; Santana, P R; Souza, V H; Marquetti, G P

    1996-06-01

    27 preschool children were observed naturally during classroom activities. Observations of behaviors of Social Interaction, Spatial Localization, and Posture categories were made under music (folk or rock and roll) and no music conditions. Music selections favored child-to-child social interaction. PMID:8823880

  18. An efficient background modeling approach based on vehicle detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jia-yan; Song, Li-mei; Xi, Jiang-tao; Guo, Qing-hua

    2015-10-01

    The existing Gaussian Mixture Model(GMM) which is widely used in vehicle detection suffers inefficiency in detecting foreground image during the model phase, because it needs quite a long time to blend the shadows in the background. In order to overcome this problem, an improved method is proposed in this paper. First of all, each frame is divided into several areas(A, B, C and D), Where area A, B, C and D are decided by the frequency and the scale of the vehicle access. For each area, different new learning rate including weight, mean and variance is applied to accelerate the elimination of shadows. At the same time, the measure of adaptive change for Gaussian distribution is taken to decrease the total number of distributions and save memory space effectively. With this method, different threshold value and different number of Gaussian distribution are adopted for different areas. The results show that the speed of learning and the accuracy of the model using our proposed algorithm surpass the traditional GMM. Probably to the 50th frame, interference with the vehicle has been eliminated basically, and the model number only 35% to 43% of the standard, the processing speed for every frame approximately has a 20% increase than the standard. The proposed algorithm has good performance in terms of elimination of shadow and processing speed for vehicle detection, it can promote the development of intelligent transportation, which is very meaningful to the other Background modeling methods.

  19. Neurochemical background and approaches in the understanding of motion sickness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kohl, R. L.

    1982-01-01

    The problems and nature of space motion sickness were defined. The neurochemical and neurophysiological bases of vestibular system function and of the expression of motion sickness wre reviewed. Emphasis was given to the elucidation of the neuropharmacological mechanisms underlying the effects of scopolamine and amphetamine on motion sickness. Characterization of the ascending reticular activating system and the limbic system provided clues to the etiology of the side effects of scopolamine. The interrelationship between central cholinergic pathways and the peripheral (autonomic) expression of motion sickness was described. A correlation between the stress of excessive motion and a variety of hormonal responses to that stress was also detailed. The cholinergic system is involved in the efferent modulation of the vestibular hair cells, as an afferent modulator of the vestibular nuclei, in the activation of cortical and limbic structures, in the expression of motion sickness symptoms and most likely underscores a number of the hormonal changes that occur in stressful motion environments. The role of lecithin in the regulation of the levels of neurotransmitters was characterized as a possible means by which cholinergic neurochemistry can be modulated.

  20. Severe antenatally diagnosed renal disorders: background, prognosis and practical approach.

    PubMed

    Aulbert, Wiebke; Kemper, Markus J

    2016-04-01

    Nowadays most renal disorders, especially urinary tract malformations and renal cystic disease, are diagnosed antenatally. In cases of severe bilateral disease, intrauterine renal dysfunction may lead to renal oligohydramnios (ROH), resulting in pulmonary hypoplasia which affects perinatal mortality and morbidity as well as the long-term outcome. However, some infants may only have mild pulmonary and renal disease, and advances in postnatal and dialysis treatment have resulted in improved short- and long-term outcome even in those infants with severe ROH. Here, we review the current state of knowledge and clinical experience of patients presenting antenatally with severe bilateral renal disorders and ROH. By addressing underlying mechanisms, intrauterine tools of diagnosis and treatment as well as published outcome data, we hope to improve antenatal counselling and postnatal care. KEY SUMMARY POINTS: 1. Nowadays most renal disorders are diagnosed antenatally, especially urinary tract malformations and renal cystic disease. 2. Severe kidney dysfunction may lead to renal oligohydramnios, which can cause pulmonary hypoplasia and is a risk factor of perinatal mortality and postnatal renal outcome. However, as considerable clinical heterogeneity is present, outcome predictions need to be treated with caution. 3. Advances in postnatal and dialysis treatment have resulted in improved short- and long-term outcomes even in infants with severe renal oligohydramnios. 4. A multidisciplinary approach with specialist input is required when counselling a family with an ROH-affected fetus as the decision-making process is very challenging. PMID:26081158

  1. Computational Assessment of Naturally Occurring Neutron and Photon Background Radiation Produced by Extraterrestrial Sources

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Thomas Martin; de Wet, Wouter C.; Patton, Bruce W.

    2015-10-28

    In this study, a computational assessment of the variation in terrestrial neutron and photon background from extraterrestrial sources is presented. The motivation of this assessment is to evaluate the practicality of developing a tool or database to estimate background in real time (or near–real time) during an experimental measurement or to even predict the background for future measurements. The extraterrestrial source focused on during this assessment is naturally occurring galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). The MCNP6 transport code was used to perform the computational assessment. However, the GCR source available in MCNP6 was not used. Rather, models developed and maintained by NASA were used to generate the GCR sources. The largest variation in both neutron and photon background spectra was found to be caused by changes in elevation on Earth's surface, which can be as large as an order of magnitude. All other perturbations produced background variations on the order of a factor of 3 or less. The most interesting finding was that ~80% and 50% of terrestrial background neutrons and photons, respectively, are generated by interactions in Earth's surface and other naturally occurring and man-made objects near a detector of particles from extraterrestrial sources and their progeny created in Earth's atmosphere. In conclusion, this assessment shows that it will be difficult to estimate the terrestrial background from extraterrestrial sources without a good understanding of a detector's surroundings. Therefore, estimating or predicting background during a measurement environment like a mobile random search will be difficult.

  2. Cancer Mortality Among People Living in Areas With Various Levels of Natural Background Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Fornalski, Krzysztof W.; Feinendegen, Ludwig E.

    2015-01-01

    There are many places on the earth, where natural background radiation exposures are elevated significantly above about 2.5 mSv/year. The studies of health effects on populations living in such places are crucially important for understanding the impact of low doses of ionizing radiation. This article critically reviews some recent representative literature that addresses the likelihood of radiation-induced cancer and early childhood death in regions with high natural background radiation. The comparative and Bayesian analysis of the published data shows that the linear no-threshold hypothesis does not likely explain the results of these recent studies, whereas they favor the model of threshold or hormesis. Neither cancers nor early childhood deaths positively correlate with dose rates in regions with elevated natural background radiation. PMID:26674931

  3. Natural background concentrations and threshold values of chemical species for groundwater in Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyun, Y.; Lee, S.; Lee, H.

    2014-12-01

    We analyze natural background concentrations and determine threshold values of chemical species (NO3-N, Cl, As, Pb, Cr) for groundwater using Groundwater Quality Monitoring Network (GQMN) data operated by Korea Ministry of Environment (ME). GQMN data are divided into two groups, A and B. Group A consists of samples collected in aquifers where anthropogenic inputs are forced to be excluded by aquifer typology. Group B consists of samples in aquifers where purely anthropogenic chemicals (e.g., pesticide, PAC) are introduced at the downgradient. Group A is used to derive nationwide natural background concentrations for groundwater in specific aquifer geology under concern, which represents a reference system. Group B is used for deriving site-specific background concentrations for groundwater. For both groups of data, the samples with anthropogenic inputs are forced to be excluded, thus background concentrations are derived based on a pre-selection method accordingly. We determine threshold values according to EU GroundWater Daughter Directive(GWDD 2006/11/EC). For As, Pb, and Cr and some other trace elements, survival analyses are used for estimating background concentrations due to non-detect data. The results show that high concentration values of NO3-N and Cr are related to high natural background concentrations due to rock-water interactions for Group A. In particular, NO3-N concentrations vary with depth, which are consistent with natural attenuation processes. For Group B, some anthropogenic chemical species such as BTEX are observed and site-specific background concentrations of those elements are non-zero, which is apparently not naturally occurred at all. Natural background concentrations and threshold values derived from Group A can be used for setting up reference values for managing groundwater quality on a level of either domestic or drinking water stands. Meanwhile results from Group B provide a useful guidance for managing groundwater quality in

  4. Geochemistry, biota and natural background levels in an arsenic naturally contaminated volcanic aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Preziosi, Elisabetta; Amalfitano, Stefano; Di Lorenzo, Tiziana; Parrone, Daniele; Rossi, David; Ghergo, Stefano; Lungarini, Silvia; Zoppini, Anna Maria

    2015-04-01

    The tight links between chemical and ecological status are largely acknowledged as for surface water bodies, while aquifers are still considered as hidden groundwater reservoirs, rather than ecosystems to be preserved. Geochemical and biological interactions play a key role in all subterranean processes, including the dynamics of the fate of anthropogenic contaminants. Studies on groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDE) were mainly focused on karst aquifers so far, but an increased awareness on the importance of water-rock interactions and methodological improvements in microbial ecology are rapidly increasing the level of characterization of groundwater ecosystems in various hydrogeological contexts. Similarly, knowledge about groundwater biodiversity is still limited, especially if porous habitats are concerned. Yet, groundwater and GDEs are populated by a diverse and highly adapted biota, dominated by crustaceans, which provide important ecosystem services and act as biological indicators of chemical and quantitative impact on groundwater resources. In a previous research (Amalfitano et al. 2014), we reported that the microbial community heterogeneity may reflect the lithological and hydrogeological complexity within volcanic and alluvial facies transition in a groundwater body. The quantitative tracking of the microbial community structure allowed disentangling the natural biogeochemical processes evolving within the aquifer flow path. The analyses of groundwater crustaceans assemblages may contribute to shed more light upon the state and dynamics of such ecosystems. In the present research, a comprehensive study of a water table aquifer flowing through a quaternary volcanic district is being performed, including the geochemical (inorganic) composition, the microbial composition, and the analysis of crustacean assemblages . Groundwater samples are periodically collected from private wells and springs under a low anthropic impact. The key issues within the

  5. Computational Assessment of Naturally Occurring Neutron and Photon Background Radiation Produced by Extraterrestrial Sources

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Miller, Thomas Martin; de Wet, Wouter C.; Patton, Bruce W.

    2015-10-28

    In this study, a computational assessment of the variation in terrestrial neutron and photon background from extraterrestrial sources is presented. The motivation of this assessment is to evaluate the practicality of developing a tool or database to estimate background in real time (or near–real time) during an experimental measurement or to even predict the background for future measurements. The extraterrestrial source focused on during this assessment is naturally occurring galactic cosmic rays (GCRs). The MCNP6 transport code was used to perform the computational assessment. However, the GCR source available in MCNP6 was not used. Rather, models developed and maintained bymore » NASA were used to generate the GCR sources. The largest variation in both neutron and photon background spectra was found to be caused by changes in elevation on Earth's surface, which can be as large as an order of magnitude. All other perturbations produced background variations on the order of a factor of 3 or less. The most interesting finding was that ~80% and 50% of terrestrial background neutrons and photons, respectively, are generated by interactions in Earth's surface and other naturally occurring and man-made objects near a detector of particles from extraterrestrial sources and their progeny created in Earth's atmosphere. In conclusion, this assessment shows that it will be difficult to estimate the terrestrial background from extraterrestrial sources without a good understanding of a detector's surroundings. Therefore, estimating or predicting background during a measurement environment like a mobile random search will be difficult.« less

  6. Assessing Natural Background Levels of aquifers in the Metropolitan Area of Milan (Lombardy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Caro, Mattia; Crosta, Giovanni; Frattini, Paolo

    2016-04-01

    The European Water Framework Directive (WFD 2000/60/CE) requires Member States to evaluate the status of groundwater bodies in order to reach a good water quality for human consumption. One of the preliminary steps for defining the status of groundwater bodies consists in the definition and evaluation of the so-called Natural Background Levels (NBL). The NBL or Baseline level can be defined as "the range of concentration of a given element, isotope or chemical compound in solution, derived entirely from natural, geological, biological or atmospheric sources, under conditions not perturbed by anthropogenic activity" (Edmund and Shand, 2009). The qualitative analysis for a large area (ca 4500 Km2) of the Po Plain around the Milan Metropolitan area (Lombardy, Italy) is presented in this study. Despite the aquifers in the Milan metropolitan area are an incredible groundwater resource for a very large population (3.195.629 inhabitants in the metropolitan area, data at November 2014) and a highly industrialized area, a groundwater baseline characterization is still missing. In order to attain the hydro-geochemical characterization a complete geodatabase was built (120.655 chemical samples from 1980 to 2014). This database has been explored by classical and multivariate statistical analyses to provide relationships among the more influential lithological, hydrogeological and hydro-chemical variables. Finally, the NBLs of different chemical species which may be anthropogenic sensitive (Na, Cl, K, NO3, SO4, NH4, As, Fe, Cr, Fe, Mn, Zn) and for multiple aquifer bodies (phreatic, semi-confined and confined aquifer) are evaluated. Two different approaches are applied: the Pre-Selection method (BRIDGE, 2006) and the Component-Separation method. The first one (PS) consists in the exclusion of samples from the available dataset that could indicate human activities then deriving the NBL as the 90th percentile of the remaining data. The second one (CS) consists in the fitting of

  7. Natural background groundwater composition in the Azores archipelago (Portugal): a hydrogeochemical study and threshold value determination.

    PubMed

    Cruz, J V; Andrade, C

    2015-07-01

    Groundwater discharges were sampled in selected springs from São Miguel (Furnas and Fogo trachytic central volcanoes) and Santa Maria islands (Azores, Portugal), in order to characterize natural background levels (NBLs) and proceed to the determination of threshold values (TVs). Besides being a key issue in order to fully assess the anthropogenic pressures, NBLs are also instrumental to derive TVs, therefore complying with requirements from the European Union Groundwater Directive. The composition of groundwater corresponds mainly to low mineralized Na-HCO3 to Na-Cl water types, the latter dominant in Santa Maria island, with a decreasing order of Na>Ca>Mg>K and Cl>HCO3>SO4>NO3 for cations and anion respectively. The majority of the samples are slightly acid to slightly alkaline (pH range of 5.45-7.43), and the electrical conductivity range between 180 and 1458 μS/cm. Groundwater composition is controlled by two major drivers, addition of sea salts and dissolution of silicate minerals. Results shown that TVs established along the present study are in general in the lower rank when compared to the range of values proposed by the several EU member states, with the main exception of NO3, reflecting the impact of agriculture activities over water quality in the Azores, and lower than the national ones. The comparison between the estimated NBL and TV with values derived with another dataset from the Azores, usually higher, depicts the effect of a larger and diverse number of groundwater sources over calculations. On the other hand, all samples which show a contribution from volcanic/hydrothermal systems were excluded from the dataset, which explains why the derived NBLs and TVs are lower comparing to other active volcanic areas, which is also a conservative approach on a subject that has regulatory implications. PMID:25813965

  8. Synthetic Biological Approaches to Natural Product Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Winter, Jaclyn M; Tang, Yi

    2012-01-01

    Small molecules produced in Nature continue to be an inspiration for the development of new therapeutic agents. These natural products possess exquisite chemical diversity, which gives rise to their wide range of biological activities. In their host organism, natural products are assembled and modified by dedicated biosynthetic pathways that Nature has meticulously developed. Often times, the complex structures or chemical modifications instated by these pathways are difficult to replicate using traditional synthetic methods. An alternative approach for creating or enhancing the structural variation of natural products is through combinatorial biosynthesis. By rationally reprogramming and manipulating the biosynthetic machinery responsible for their production, unnatural metabolites that were otherwise inaccessible can be obtained. Additionally, new chemical structures can be synthesized or derivatized by developing the enzymes that carry out these complicated chemical reactions into biocatalysts. In this review, we will discuss a variety of combinatorial biosynthetic strategies, their technical challenges, and highlight some recent (since 2007) examples of rationally designed unnatural metabolites, as well as platforms that have been established for the production and modification of clinically important pharmaceutical compounds. PMID:22221832

  9. natural background radiation dosimetry in the highest altitude region of Iran.

    PubMed

    Shahbazi-Gahrouei, Daryoush

    2003-09-01

    The natural background radiation has been measured in one of the highest altitude regions (Zagros Mountains), Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, in the south west of Iran. The outdoors-environmental monitoring exposure rate of radiation was measured in 200 randomly chosen regions using portable Geiger-Muller and scintillation detectors. Eight measurements were made in each region and an average value was used to calculate the exposure rate from natural background radiation. The average exposure rate was found to be 0.246 microGy/h and the annual average effective dose equivalent was found to be 0.49 mSv. An overall population-weighted mean outdoor dose rate was calculated to be 49 nGy/h, which is higher than the world-wide mean value of 44 nGy/h, as reported by UNSCEAR in 1998, and is comparable to the annual effective dose equivalent of 0.38 mSv. A good correlation between the altitude and the exposure rate was observed, as the higher altitude regions have higher natural background radiation levels. PMID:14646234

  10. Background in the context of land contaminated with naturally occurring radioactive material.

    PubMed

    Read, D; Read, G D; Thorne, M C

    2013-06-01

    The financial implications of choosing a particular threshold for clearance of radioactively contaminated land are substantial, particularly when one considers the volume of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) created each year by the production and combustion of fossil fuels and the exploitation of industrial minerals. Inevitably, a compromise needs to be reached between the level of environmental protection sought and the finite resources available for remediation. In the case of natural series radionuclides, any anthropogenic input is always superimposed on the inventory already present in the soil; this 'background' inventory is conventionally disregarded when assessing remediation targets. Unfortunately, the term is not well defined and the concept of 'background dose' is open to alternative interpretations. In this paper, we address the issue of natural background from a geochemical rather than from a solely radiological perspective, illustrating this with an example from the china clay industry. We propose a simple procedure for decision making based on activity concentrations of primordial radionuclides and their progeny. Subsequent calculations of dose need to take into account the mineralogical and chemical characteristics of the contamination, which in the case of NORM are invariably reflected in uranium series disequilibrium. PMID:23519083

  11. Technical note: An improved approach to determining background aerosol concentrations with PILS sampling on aircraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukami, Christine S.; Sullivan, Amy P.; Ryan Fulgham, S.; Murschell, Trey; Borch, Thomas; Smith, James N.; Farmer, Delphine K.

    2016-07-01

    Particle-into-Liquid Samplers (PILS) have become a standard aerosol collection technique, and are widely used in both ground and aircraft measurements in conjunction with off-line ion chromatography (IC) measurements. Accurate and precise background samples are essential to account for gas-phase components not efficiently removed and any interference in the instrument lines, collection vials or off-line analysis procedures. For aircraft sampling with PILS, backgrounds are typically taken with in-line filters to remove particles prior to sample collection once or twice per flight with more numerous backgrounds taken on the ground. Here, we use data collected during the Front Range Air Pollution and Photochemistry Éxperiment (FRAPPÉ) to demonstrate that not only are multiple background filter samples are essential to attain a representative background, but that the chemical background signals do not follow the Gaussian statistics typically assumed. Instead, the background signals for all chemical components analyzed from 137 background samples (taken from ∼78 total sampling hours over 18 flights) follow a log-normal distribution, meaning that the typical approaches of averaging background samples and/or assuming a Gaussian distribution cause an over-estimation of background samples - and thus an underestimation of sample concentrations. Our approach of deriving backgrounds from the peak of the log-normal distribution results in detection limits of 0.25, 0.32, 3.9, 0.17, 0.75 and 0.57 μg m-3 for sub-micron aerosol nitrate (NO3-), nitrite (NO2-), ammonium (NH4+), sulfate (SO42-), potassium (K+) and calcium (Ca2+), respectively. The difference in backgrounds calculated from assuming a Gaussian distribution versus a log-normal distribution were most extreme for NH4+, resulting in a background that was 1.58× that determined from fitting a log-normal distribution.

  12. Nature of association between rural background and practice location: A comparison of general practitioners and specialists

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Rural and remote areas are characterised by a shortage of medical practitioners. Rural background has been shown to be a significant factor associated with medical graduates' intentions and decisions to practise within a rural area, though most studies have only used simple definitions of rural background and not previously looked at specialists. This paper aims to investigate in detail the nature of the association between rural background and practice location of Australian general practitioners (GPs) and specialists Methods Data for 3156 GPs and 2425 specialists were obtained from the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) study. Data on the number of childhood years resident in a rural location and population size of their rural childhood location were matched against current practice location. Logistic regression modelling was used to calculate adjusted associations between doctors in rural practice and rural background, sex and age. Results GPs with at least 6 years of their childhood spent in a rural area were significantly more likely than those with 0-5 years in a rural area to be practising in a rural location (OR 2.28, 95% CI 1.69-3.08), whilst only specialists with at least 11 years rural background were significantly more likely to be practising in a rural location (OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.77-2.91). However, for doctors with a rural background, the size of the community that they grew up in was not significantly associated with the size of the community in which they currently practise. Both female GPs and female specialists are similarly much less likely to be practising in a rural location compared with males (GPs: OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.45-0.62). Conclusions This study elucidates the association between rural background and rural practice for both GPs and specialists. It follows that increased take-up of rural practice by new graduates requires an increased selection of students with strong rural backgrounds. However, given the

  13. Natural inflation: consistency with cosmic microwave background observations of Planck and BICEP2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freese, Katherine; Kinney, William H.

    2015-03-01

    Natural inflation is a good fit to all cosmic microwave background (CMB) data and may be the correct description of an early inflationary expansion of the Universe. The large angular scale CMB polarization experiment BICEP2 has announced a major discovery, which can be explained as the gravitational wave signature of inflation, at a level that matches predictions by natural inflation models. The natural inflation (NI) potential is theoretically exceptionally well motivated in that it is naturally flat due to shift symmetries, and in the simplest version takes the form V(phi) = Λ4 [1 ± cos(Nphi/f)]. A tensor-to-scalar ratio r > 0.1 as seen by BICEP2 requires the height of any inflationary potential to be comparable to the scale of grand unification and the width to be comparable to the Planck scale. The Cosine Natural Inflation model agrees with all cosmic microwave background measurements as long as f >= mPl (where mPl = 1.22 × 1019 GeV) and Λ ~ mGUT ~ 1016 GeV. This paper also discusses other variants of the natural inflation scenario: we show that axion monodromy with potential Vpropto phi2/3 is inconsistent with the BICEP2 limits at the 95% confidence level, and low-scale inflation is strongly ruled out. Linear potentials V propto phi are inconsistent with the BICEP2 limit at the 95% confidence level, but are marginally consistent with a joint Planck/BICEP2 limit at 95%. We discuss the pseudo-Nambu Goldstone model proposed by Kinney and Mahanthappa as a concrete realization of low-scale inflation. While the low-scale limit of the model is inconsistent with the data, the large-field limit of the model is marginally consistent with BICEP2. All of the models considered predict negligible running of the scalar spectral index, and would be ruled out by a detection of running.

  14. Feature evaluation for target/background discrimination in image sequences taken by approaching sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoene, Rene; Meidow, Jochen; Mauer, Edmond

    2010-04-01

    The conspicuity of different targets in image sequences taken by approaching sensors is addressed in applications such as the assessment of camouflage effectiveness or the performance evaluation of autonomous systems. In such evaluation processes the consideration of background characteristics is essential due to the propensity to confuse target and background signatures. Several discriminating features of target and background signature can be derived. Furthermore, the changing aspect and spatial resolution during an approach on a target have to be taken into account. Considering salient points in image sequences, we perform a nominal/actual value comparison by evaluating the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve for the detections in each image. Hence, reference regions for targets and backgrounds are provided for the entire image sequence by means of robust image registration. The consideration of the uncertainty for the temporal progression of the ROC curve enables hypothesis testing for well-founded statements about the significance of the determined distinctiveness of targets with respect to their background. The approach is neither restricted to images taken by IR sensors nor applicable to low level image analysis steps only, but can be considered as a general method for the assessment of feature evaluation and target distinctiveness. The analysis method proposed facilitates an objective comparison of object appearance with both, its relevant background and other targets, using different image analysis features. The feasibility and the usefulness of the approach are demonstrated with real data recorded with a FLIR sensor during a field trial on a bare and mock-up target.

  15. Object detection in natural backgrounds predicted by discrimination performance and models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rohaly, A. M.; Ahumada, A. J. Jr; Watson, A. B.

    1997-01-01

    Many models of visual performance predict image discriminability, the visibility of the difference between a pair of images. We compared the ability of three image discrimination models to predict the detectability of objects embedded in natural backgrounds. The three models were: a multiple channel Cortex transform model with within-channel masking; a single channel contrast sensitivity filter model; and a digital image difference metric. Each model used a Minkowski distance metric (generalized vector magnitude) to summate absolute differences between the background and object plus background images. For each model, this summation was implemented with three different exponents: 2, 4 and infinity. In addition, each combination of model and summation exponent was implemented with and without a simple contrast gain factor. The model outputs were compared to measures of object detectability obtained from 19 observers. Among the models without the contrast gain factor, the multiple channel model with a summation exponent of 4 performed best, predicting the pattern of observer d's with an RMS error of 2.3 dB. The contrast gain factor improved the predictions of all three models for all three exponents. With the factor, the best exponent was 4 for all three models, and their prediction errors were near 1 dB. These results demonstrate that image discrimination models can predict the relative detectability of objects in natural scenes.

  16. Object Detection in Natural Backgrounds Predicted by Discrimination Performance and Models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ahumada, A. J., Jr.; Watson, A. B.; Rohaly, A. M.; Null, Cynthia H. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    In object detection, an observer looks for an object class member in a set of backgrounds. In discrimination, an observer tries to distinguish two images. Discrimination models predict the probability that an observer detects a difference between two images. We compare object detection and image discrimination with the same stimuli by: (1) making stimulus pairs of the same background with and without the target object and (2) either giving many consecutive trials with the same background (discrimination) or intermixing the stimuli (object detection). Six images of a vehicle in a natural setting were altered to remove the vehicle and mixed with the original image in various proportions. Detection observers rated the images for vehicle presence. Discrimination observers rated the images for any difference from the background image. Estimated detectabilities of the vehicles were found by maximizing the likelihood of a Thurstone category scaling model. The pattern of estimated detectabilities is similar for discrimination and object detection, and is accurately predicted by a Cortex Transform discrimination model. Predictions of a Contrast- Sensitivity- Function filter model and a Root-Mean-Square difference metric based on the digital image values are less accurate. The discrimination detectabilities averaged about twice those of object detection.

  17. Natural background levels and threshold values for groundwater in fluvial Pleistocene and Tertiary marine aquifers in Flanders, Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coetsiers, Marleen; Blaser, Petra; Martens, Kristine; Walraevens, Kristine

    2009-05-01

    Aquifers from the same typology can have strongly different groundwater chemistry. Deducing the groundwater quality of less well-characterized aquifers from well-documented aquifers belonging to the same typology should be done with great reserve, and can only be considered as a preliminary approach. In the EU’s 6th FP BRIDGE project “Background cRiteria for the IDentification of Groundwater thrEsholds”, a methodology for the derivation of threshold values (TV) for groundwater bodies is proposed. This methodology is tested on four aquifers in Flanders of the sand and gravel typology. The methodology works well for all but the Ledo-Paniselian aquifer, where the subdivision into a fresh and saline part is disproved, as a gradual natural transition from fresh to saline conditions in the aquifer is observed. The 90 percentile is proposed as natural background level (NBL) for the unconfined Pleistocene deposits, ascribing the outliers to possible influence of pollution. For the Tertiary aquifers, high values for different parameters have a natural origin and the 97.7 percentile is preferred as NBL. The methodology leads to high TVs for parameters presenting low NBL, when compared to the standard used as a reference. This would allow for substantial anthropogenic inputs of these parameters.

  18. Estimation of collective effective dose due to natural background radiation in Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henaish, B. A.; Tawfik, A. A.; Abu Zaid, H.; Gomaa, M. A.

    1994-07-01

    During the last few years, worldwide attention has been directed towards the estimation of natural background radiation levels. Several environmental monitoring networks have been established for systematic data collection and exchange of information.In the present study, measurements of annual effective dose from terrestrial γ-rays are carried out at pre-selected sites within several Egyptian governorates by using a calibrated gas-filled GM-detector connected to a microcomputer system. Contribution of the secondary cosmic-rays, which is of prime importance at sea level, is achieved by carrying out computation based on theoretical considerations.Terrestrial effective dose in Egypt is found to be between 106 and 371 μSv/yr, meanwhile the computed cosmic rays contribution is 260-296 μSv/yr. Accordingly, the annual collective effective dose due to natural background radiation is about 27,253 Man Sv for the last Egyptian population count (1989) considering 0.8 and 0.2 indoor and outdoor occupancy factors.

  19. An automatic segmentation method for multi-tomatoes image under complicated natural background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Jianjun; Mao, Hanping; Hu, Yongguang; Wang, Xinzhong; Chen, Shuren

    2006-12-01

    It is a fundamental work to realize intelligent fruit-picking that mature fruits are distinguished from complicated backgrounds and determined their three-dimensional location. Various methods for fruit identification can be found from the literatures. However, surprisingly little attention has been paid to image segmentation of multi-fruits which growth states are separated, connected, overlapped and partially covered by branches and leaves of plant under the natural illumination condition. In this paper we present an automatic segmentation method that comprises of three main steps. Firstly, Red and Green component image are extracted from RGB color image, and Green component subtracted from Red component gives RG of chromatic aberration gray-level image. Gray-level value between objects and background has obviously difference in RG image. By the feature, Ostu's threshold method is applied to do adaptive RG image segmentation. And then, marker-controlled watershed segmentation based on morphological grayscale reconstruction is applied into Red component image to search boundary of connected or overlapped tomatoes. Finally, intersection operation is done by operation results of above two steps to get binary image of final segmentation. The tests show that the automatic segmentation method has satisfactory effect upon multi-tomatoes image of various growth states under the natural illumination condition. Meanwhile, it has very robust for different maturity of multi-tomatoes image.

  20. Disruptive camouflage tricks the human eye: a study of detection times of two near-similar targets in natural backgrounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selj, Gorm K.

    2015-10-01

    Our understanding of camouflage, in military as well as in evolutionary perspectives, has been developing over the last 100 years. In that period of time several underlying principles have emerged. It has turned out in the recent decade that background pattern matching alone may not be sufficient to conceal targets because of the ubiquitous and revealing information contained by the edges of a target. In this paper we have studied one concealment strategy, the so-called disruptive coloration, further as it predicts that high contrast patches placed at the target's outline will impede detection, by creating false target edges when exposed to the observer. Such disruptive coloration is contra-intuitive as it may impede detection in spite of the fact that the patches themselves may be poorly concealed. In military environments the "disruptive approach" within camouflage has been textbook material for decades. Still, very little has been reported, supporting this idea, especially when it comes to the concealment of human targets in natural sceneries. We report here experimental evidence from a field study, containing detection data from 12 unique natural scenes (5 testing the disruptive effect, 7 as reference tests), with both human targets and human observers, showing that disruptively colored camouflage patches along a human's outline (its head) may increase detection time significantly as when compared to a similar (human) target concealed only with background matching. Hence, our results support the idea that disruptive coloration may impede detection and similarly that the best concealment is achieved when disruptive coloration is added to a target that matches the background (reasonably) well. This study raises important question to the current understanding of human vision and concealment as well as to any approach to describe the human visual system mathematically.

  1. Evaluation of Monitoring Approaches for Natural Attenuation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roll, L. L.; Labolle, E. M.; Fogg, G. E.

    2008-12-01

    Monitored natural attenuation (MNA) can be a useful alternative to active remediation, however, firm conclusions regarding effectiveness of MNA may be elusive because of multiple processes that can produce similar, apparent trends in chemical concentrations in the heterogeneous subsurface. Current monitoring approaches need to be critically evaluated for typical field settings, such as heterogeneous alluvial aquifer systems, because spatially varying aquifer properties create non uniform flow fields that greatly influence transport processes, producing complex plume behavior that may not be adequately depicted by monitoring networks. Highly-resolved simulations of flow and conservative transport in a typical alluvial aquifer system facilitate a critical review of three monitoring approaches including estimation of mass balance from sampling along the plume centerline, estimation of mass balance from fine grid sampling, and estimation of mass flux from sampling along cross sections. The simulation procedure involves generation of unconditional transition-probability fields of hydrofacies distributions, simulation of steady state flow followed by simulation of conservative transport using a highly accurate random walk particle method (RWHET). The results elucidate limitations and potential pitfalls of the monitoring methods and use of simple models in typically heterogeneous systems. For example, simulations show that because of the system complexity, apparent concentration trends in space and time can be falsely attributed to biodegradation when none is occurring if simplistic models are used to interpret the data. Measured concentrations alone are likely insufficient to judge effectiveness of MNA.

  2. Car-borne survey of natural background gamma dose rate in Çanakkale region, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Turhan, S; Arıkan, I H; Oğuz, F; Özdemir, T; Yücel, B; Varinlioğlu, A; Köse, A

    2012-01-01

    Natural background gamma radiation was measured along roads in the environs of Çanakkale region by using a car-borne spectrometer system with a plastic gamma radiation detector. In addition, activity concentrations of ²³⁸U, ²²⁶Ra, ²³²Th and ⁴⁰K in soil samples from the Çanakkale region were determined by using a gamma spectrometer with an HPGe detector. A total of 92,856 data of the background gamma dose rate were collected for the Çanakkale region. The background gamma dose rate of the Çanakkale region was mapped using ArcGIS software, applying the geostatistical inverse distance-weighted method. The average and population-weighted average of the gamma dose are 55.4 and 40.6 nGy h⁻¹, respectively. The corresponding average annual effective dose to the public ranged from 26.6 to 96.8 µSv. PMID:21362693

  3. Exact renormalization group and loop variables: A background independent approach to string theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sathiapalan, B.

    2015-11-01

    This paper is a self-contained review of the loop variable approach to string theory. The Exact Renormalization Group is applied to a world sheet theory describing string propagation in a general background involving both massless and massive modes. This gives interacting equations of motion for the modes of the string. Loop variable techniques are used to obtain gauge invariant equations. Since this method is not tied to flat space-time or any particular background metric, it is manifestly background independent. The technique can be applied to both open and closed strings. Thus gauge invariant and generally covariant interacting equations of motion can be written for massive higher spin fields in arbitrary backgrounds. Some explicit examples are given.

  4. The Natural Background Gamma Radiation Exposure in the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Mary Feild

    Measurements of the natural background radiation have been made at numerous places throughout the world. Very little work in this field has been done in developing countries. In Mexico the natural radiation to which the population is exposed has not been assessed. This dissertation represents a pioneer study in this environmental area. The radiation exposure which occupants within buildings receive as a result of naturally occurring radionuclides present in construction materials is the principal focus. Data were collected between August 1979 and November 1980. Continuous monitoring was done with TLDs placed on site for periods of 3 to 6 months. The instrumentation used for "real-time" measurements was a portable NaI (Tl) scintillation detector. In addition, radiometric measurements were performed on construction materials commonly used in Mexican homes. Based on TLD readings taken within 75 dwellings, the typical indoor exposure for a resident of the study area is 9.2 (mu)Rh('-1). The average reading of the 152 indoor scintillometer surveys was 9.5 (mu)Rh('-1), the outdoor reading 7.5 (mu)Rh('-1). Results of one-way and multi-way analyses of the exposure data to determine the effect due to building materials type, geologic subsoil, age of dwelling, and elevation are also presented. The results of 152 indoor scintillometer surveys are described.

  5. Trichloromethyl compounds--natural background concentrations and fates within and below coniferous forests.

    PubMed

    Albers, Christian Nyrop; Hansen, Poul Erik; Jacobsen, Ole Stig

    2010-11-15

    Pollution with organochlorines has received major attention due to various environmental effects, but it is now increasingly recognized, that they also take part in biogeochemical cycles and that natural background concentrations exist for several chlorinated compounds. We here report the natural occurrence and cycling of organic compounds with a trichloromethyl moiety in common. The study areas are temperate coniferous forests. Trichloromethyl compounds can be found in all compartments of the forests (groundwater, soil, vegetation and throughfall), but not all compounds in all compartments. The atmospheric input of trichloromethyl compounds is found to be minor, with significant contributions for trichloroacetic acid (TCAA), only. In top soil, where the formation of the compounds is expected to occur, there is a clear positive relationship between chloroform and trichloroacetyl containing compounds. Other positive relations occur, which in combination with chlorination experiments performed in the laboratory, point to the fact that all the trichloromethyl compounds may be formed concurrently in the soil, and their subsequent fates then differ due to different physical, chemical and biological properties. TCAA cannot be detected in soil and groundwater, but sorption and mineralization experiments performed in the laboratory in combination with analyses of vegetation, show that TCAA is probably formed in the top soil and then partly taken up by the vegetation and partly mineralized in the soil. Based on this and previous studies, a conceptual model for the natural cycling of trichloromethyl compounds in forests is proposed. PMID:20889185

  6. Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvarez, Gonzalo A.; Shemesh, Noam; Frydman, Lucio

    2014-02-01

    Dynamical decoupling, a generalization of the original NMR spin-echo sequence, is becoming increasingly relevant as a tool for reducing decoherence in quantum systems. Such sequences apply non-equidistant refocusing pulses for optimizing the coupling between systems, and environmental fluctuations characterized by a given noise spectrum. One such sequence, dubbed Selective Dynamical Recoupling (SDR) [P. E. S. Smith, G. Bensky, G. A. Álvarez, G. Kurizki, and L. Frydman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109, 5958 (2012)], allows one to coherently reintroduce diffusion decoherence effects driven by fluctuations arising from restricted molecular diffusion [G. A. Álvarez, N. Shemesh, and L. Frydman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 080404 (2013)]. The fully-refocused, constant-time, and constant-number-of-pulses nature of SDR also allows one to filter out "intrinsic" T1 and T2 weightings, as well as pulse errors acting as additional sources of decoherence. This article explores such features when the fluctuations are now driven by unrestricted molecular diffusion. In particular, we show that diffusion-driven SDR can be exploited to investigate the decoherence arising from the frequency fluctuations imposed by internal gradients. As a result, SDR presents a unique way of probing and characterizing these internal magnetic fields, given an a priori known free diffusion coefficient. This has important implications in studies of structured systems, including porous media and live tissues, where the internal gradients may serve as fingerprints for the system's composition or structure. The principles of this method, along with full analytical solutions for the unrestricted diffusion-driven modulation of the SDR signal, are presented. The potential of this approach is demonstrated with the generation of a novel source of MRI contrast, based on the background gradients active in an ex vivo mouse brain. Additional features and limitations of this new method are discussed.

  7. Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance

    SciTech Connect

    Álvarez, Gonzalo A.; Shemesh, Noam; Frydman, Lucio

    2014-02-28

    Dynamical decoupling, a generalization of the original NMR spin-echo sequence, is becoming increasingly relevant as a tool for reducing decoherence in quantum systems. Such sequences apply non-equidistant refocusing pulses for optimizing the coupling between systems, and environmental fluctuations characterized by a given noise spectrum. One such sequence, dubbed Selective Dynamical Recoupling (SDR) [P. E. S. Smith, G. Bensky, G. A. Álvarez, G. Kurizki, and L. Frydman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109, 5958 (2012)], allows one to coherently reintroduce diffusion decoherence effects driven by fluctuations arising from restricted molecular diffusion [G. A. Álvarez, N. Shemesh, and L. Frydman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 080404 (2013)]. The fully-refocused, constant-time, and constant-number-of-pulses nature of SDR also allows one to filter out “intrinsic” T{sub 1} and T{sub 2} weightings, as well as pulse errors acting as additional sources of decoherence. This article explores such features when the fluctuations are now driven by unrestricted molecular diffusion. In particular, we show that diffusion-driven SDR can be exploited to investigate the decoherence arising from the frequency fluctuations imposed by internal gradients. As a result, SDR presents a unique way of probing and characterizing these internal magnetic fields, given an a priori known free diffusion coefficient. This has important implications in studies of structured systems, including porous media and live tissues, where the internal gradients may serve as fingerprints for the system's composition or structure. The principles of this method, along with full analytical solutions for the unrestricted diffusion-driven modulation of the SDR signal, are presented. The potential of this approach is demonstrated with the generation of a novel source of MRI contrast, based on the background gradients active in an ex vivo mouse brain. Additional features and limitations of this new method are discussed.

  8. Natural 'background' soil water repellency in conifer forests: its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doerr, Stefan; Woods, Scott; Martin, Deborah; Casimiro, Marta

    2013-04-01

    Soils under a wide range of vegetation types exhibit water repellency following the passage of a fire. This is viewed by many as one of the main causes for accelerated post-fire runoff and soil erosion and it has often been assumed that strong soil water repellency present after wildfire is fire-induced. However, high levels of repellency have also been reported under vegetation types not affected by fire, and the question arises to what degree the water repellency observed at burnt sites actually results from fire. This study aimed at determining 'natural background' water repellency in common coniferous forest types in the north-western USA. Mature or semi-mature coniferous forest sites (n = 81), which showed no evidence of recent fires and had at least some needle cast cover, were sampled across six states. After careful removal of litter and duff at each site, soil water repellency was examined in situ at the mineral soil surface using the Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) method for three sub-sites, followed by col- lecting near-surface mineral soil layer samples (0-3 cm depth). Following air-drying, samples were fur- ther analyzed for repellency using WDPT and contact angle (hsl) measurements. Amongst other variables examined were dominant tree type, ground vegetation, litter and duff layer depth, slope angle and aspect, elevation, geology, and soil texture, organic carbon content and pH. 'Natural background' water repellency (WDPT > 5 s) was detected in situ and on air-dry samples at 75% of all sites examined irrespective of dominant tree species (Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, Picea engelma- nii and Pseudotsuga menziesii). These findings demonstrate that the soil water repellency commonly observed in these forest types following burning is not necessarily the result of recent fire but can instead be a natural characteristic. The notion of a low background water repellency being typical for long- unburnt conifer forest soils of the north-western USA is

  9. Hierarchical approaches to analysis of natural textures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lutsiv, Vadim R.; Malyshev, Igor A.; Novikova, Tatiana A.

    2004-09-01

    The surface textures of natural objects often have the visible fractal-like properties. A similar pattern of texture could be found looking at the forests in the aerial photographs or at the trees in the outdoor scenes when the image spatial resolution was changed. Or the texture patterns are different at different spatial resolution levels in the aerial photographs of villages. It creates the difficulties in image segmentation and object recognition because the levels of spatial resolution necessary to get the homogeneously and correctly labeled texture regions differ for different types of landscape. E.g. if the spatial resolution was sufficient for distinguishing between the textures of agricultural fields, water, and asphalt, the texture labeled areas of forest or suburbs are hardly fragmented, because the texture peculiarities corresponding to two stable levels of texture spatial resolution will be visible in this case. A hierarchical texture analysis could solve this problem, and we did it in two different ways: we performed the texture segmentation simultaneously for several levels of image spatial resolution, or we subjected the texture labeled image of highest spatial resolution to a recurring texture segmentation using the texture cells of larger sizes. The both approaches turned out to be rather fruitful for the aerial photographs as well as for the outdoor images. They generalize and support the hierarchical image analysis technique presented in another our paper. Some of the methods applied were borrowed from the living vision systems.

  10. The isotropic nature of the background turbulence spectra in the solar wind

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Tu, C. Y.; He, J.; Marsch, E.; Wang, L.

    2014-12-01

    At the high-frequency end of the inertial range, the solar wind turbulence power spectrum was recently found to be anisotropic with respect to the direction of local magnetic field, as an evidence for the presence of a "critical balance" style turbulence cascade. However, we find that the spectral anisotropy seems to result from intermittent structures. The following two independent studies corroborate this statement by showing that the power spectra of the background turbulence, in which there are no intermittent structures, have an isotropic nature. In Study 1, we remove the wavelet coefficients of the local intermittency with large partial variance increment (PVI), and find the spectral indices of the magnetic field are 1.63±0.02, independent of the angle θRB between the direction of the local background magnetic field and the radial direction. In Study 2, we make a statistical study on the magnetic field spectral indices obtained by using Fast Fourier Transform on 40 time series, in which no intermittent structures appear. We find that for the time series with 0o<θRB <6o, the probability distribution of the observed spectral indices peaks at -1.7, while the -2 index predicted by the "critical balance" theory rarely appears. For the time series with 84 o <θRB <90 o, the probability distribution of the indices peaks at -1.5. Considering the uncertainty of the statistics, these results show that the background-turbulence spectra are nearly isotropic with respect to θRB, which may be consistent with some explanations based on hydrodynamic turbulence theory.

  11. Potential health risk in areas with high naturally-occurring cadmium background in southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yizhang; Xiao, Tangfu; Baveye, Philippe C; Zhu, Jianming; Ning, Zengping; Li, Huajun

    2015-02-01

    In various parts of the world, high cadmium (Cd) concentrations in environment are not related to anthropogenic contamination but have natural origins. Less is known about health risks that arise under these conditions. This study aimed to discuss the pollution of Cd with natural sources, and to investigate the concentration of Cd in food crops and the urine of inhabitants in an area of southwestern China. The results showed that the arable soils are moderately contaminated by Cd (I(geo)=1.51) relative to the local background, with a high ecological risk (Er=218). The chemical fractions of Cd in soils with natural sources are probably controlled by parent materials and mostly in residual phase. The average Cd concentrations were 0.68 mg kg(-1) (fresh weight) in local vegetables, 0.04 mg kg(-1) in rice, and 0.14 μg L(-1) in water. Leafy vegetable tends to accumulate more Cd than the other crops. The calculated Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) had a much higher value (4.33) for Cd, suggesting that Cd represents a significant potential risk to the local population. The urinary Cd concentrations (mean at 3.92 μg L(-1) for male and 4.85 μg L(-1) for female) of inhabitants in the study area were significantly higher (p<0.05) than those from the control area (mean at 0.8 μg L(-1) for male and 0.42 μg L(-1) for female). Male and female test subjects had similar urinary Cd levels (p>0.05), but age seemed to lead to an increase in Cd in the urine. These findings show that naturally-occurring Cd in local soils is taken up appreciably by local food crops, and that dietary exposure of Cd through vegetable ingestion is a major exposure pathway for local populations, and a potential risk to public health in the study area. PMID:25463862

  12. Molecular Mechanisms of Drug Resistance in Natural Leishmania Populations Vary with Genetic Background

    PubMed Central

    Decuypere, Saskia; Vanaerschot, Manu; Brunker, Kirstyn; Imamura, Hideo; Müller, Sylke; Khanal, Basudha; Rijal, Suman; Dujardin, Jean-Claude; Coombs, Graham H.

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of drug-resistance in pathogens is a major global health threat. Elucidating the molecular basis of pathogen drug-resistance has been the focus of many studies but rarely is it known whether a drug-resistance mechanism identified is universal for the studied pathogen; it has seldom been clarified whether drug-resistance mechanisms vary with the pathogen's genotype. Nevertheless this is of critical importance in gaining an understanding of the complexity of this global threat and in underpinning epidemiological surveillance of pathogen drug resistance in the field. This study aimed to assess the molecular and phenotypic heterogeneity that emerges in natural parasite populations under drug treatment pressure. We studied lines of the protozoan parasite Leishmania (L.) donovani with differential susceptibility to antimonial drugs; the lines being derived from clinical isolates belonging to two distinct genetic populations that circulate in the leishmaniasis endemic region of Nepal. Parasite pathways known to be affected by antimonial drugs were characterised on five experimental levels in the lines of the two populations. Characterisation of DNA sequence, gene expression, protein expression and thiol levels revealed a number of molecular features that mark antimonial-resistant parasites in only one of the two populations studied. A final series of in vitro stress phenotyping experiments confirmed this heterogeneity amongst drug-resistant parasites from the two populations. These data provide evidence that the molecular changes associated with antimonial-resistance in natural Leishmania populations depend on the genetic background of the Leishmania population, which has resulted in a divergent set of resistance markers in the Leishmania populations. This heterogeneity of parasite adaptations provides severe challenges for the control of drug resistance in the field and the design of molecular surveillance tools for widespread applicability. PMID:22389733

  13. Enhancement of natural background gamma-radiation dose around uranium microparticles in the human body

    PubMed Central

    Pattison, John E.; Hugtenburg, Richard P.; Green, Stuart

    2010-01-01

    Ongoing controversy surrounds the adverse health effects of the use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions. The biological effects of gamma-radiation arise from the direct or indirect interaction between secondary electrons and the DNA of living cells. The probability of the absorption of X-rays and gamma-rays with energies below about 200 keV by particles of high atomic number is proportional to the third to fourth power of the atomic number. In such a case, the more heavily ionizing low-energy recoil electrons are preferentially produced; these cause dose enhancement in the immediate vicinity of the particles. It has been claimed that upon exposure to naturally occurring background gamma-radiation, particles of DU in the human body would produce dose enhancement by a factor of 500–1000, thereby contributing a significant radiation dose in addition to the dose received from the inherent radioactivity of the DU. In this study, we used the Monte Carlo code EGSnrc to accurately estimate the likely maximum dose enhancement arising from the presence of micrometre-sized uranium particles in the body. We found that although the dose enhancement is significant, of the order of 1–10, it is considerably smaller than that suggested previously. PMID:19776147

  14. Computational approaches to natural product discovery

    PubMed Central

    Medema, Marnix H.; Fischbach, Michael A.

    2016-01-01

    From the earliest Streptomyces genome sequences, the promise of natural product genome mining has been captivating: genomics and bioinformatics would transform compound discovery from an ad hoc pursuit to a high-throughput endeavor. Until recently, however, genome mining has advanced natural product discovery only modestly. Here, we argue that the development of algorithms to mine the continuously increasing amounts of (meta)genomic data will enable the promise of genome mining to be realized. We review computational strategies that have been developed to identify biosynthetic gene clusters in genome sequences and predict the chemical structures of their products. We then discuss networking strategies that can systematize large volumes of genetic and chemical data, and connect genomic information to metabolomic and phenotypic data. Finally, we provide a vision of what natural product discovery might look like in the future, specifically considering long-standing questions in microbial ecology regarding the roles of metabolites in interspecies interactions. PMID:26284671

  15. Interaction energy and closest approach of moving charged particles on a plasma and neutral gas background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Øien, Alf H.

    2012-02-01

    Electric interaction between two negatively charged particles of different sizes on a mixed background of positive, negative, and neutral particles is complex and has relevance both to dusty plasmas and to transports in ionized fluids in general. We consider particularly effects during interaction that particle velocity and neutrals in the background may have on the well-known “dressing” and electric shielding that is due to the charged part of the background and how the interaction energy is modified because of this. Without such effects earlier works show the interaction becomes attractive when the distance between the two particles is a bit larger than the Debye length. We use a model where one of the two interacting particles has a radius much larger than the Debye length and the other a radius shorter than the Debye length. Then, the complex interaction may be more easily determined for particle separation up to a few Debye lengths. We consider the larger particle as stationary while the smaller may move. We find quite simple analytic expressions for the dressed particle interaction energy over the whole range of speed of the incoming smaller particle, assumed coming head on the larger particle, and the whole range of neutral particle densities. We also derive a distance of closest approach of small and large particles for all such parameter values. This distance is important for excluded volume estimations for moving small charged particles in media populated by large charged particles on a background as described above, and hence, important for determining the speed of flow of the smaller particles through such media.

  16. Phylogenetic Approaches to Natural Product Structure Prediction

    PubMed Central

    Ziemert, Nadine; Jensen, Paul R.

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetics is the study of the evolutionary relatedness among groups of organisms. Molecular phylogenetics uses sequence data to infer these relationships for both organisms and the genes they maintain. With the large amount of publicly available sequence data, phylogenetic inference has become increasingly important in all fields of biology. In the case of natural product research, phylogenetic relationships are proving to be highly informative in terms of delineating the architecture and function of the genes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases provide model examples in which individual domain phylogenies display different predictive capacities, resolving features ranging from substrate specificity to structural motifs associated with the final metabolic product. This chapter provides examples in which phylogeny has proven effective in terms of predicting functional or structural aspects of secondary metabolism. The basics of how to build a reliable phylogenetic tree are explained along with information about programs and tools that can be used for this purpose. Furthermore, it introduces the Natural Product Domain Seeker, a recently developed Web tool that employs phylogenetic logic to classify ketosynthase and condensation domains based on established enzyme architecture and biochemical function. PMID:23084938

  17. Natural products: a safest approach for obesity.

    PubMed

    Vasudeva, Neeru; Yadav, Neerja; Sharma, Surendra Kumar

    2012-06-01

    Obesity is recognized as a social problem, associated with serious health risks and increased mortality. Numerous trials have been conducted to find and develop new anti-obesity drugs through herbal sources to minimize adverse reactions associated with the present anti-obesity drugs. The use of natural products as medicine has been documented for hundreds of years in various traditional systems of medicines throughout the world. This review focuses on the medicinal plants such as Achyranthus aspera, Camellia sinensis, Emblica officinalis, Garcinia cambogia, Terminalia arjuna, etc., being used traditionally in Ayurvedic, Unani, Siddha and Chinese, etc., systems of medicine. The review also highlights recent reported phytochemicals such as escins, perennisosides, dioscin, gracillin, etc., and the various extracts of the plants like Nelumbo nucifera, Panax japonicas, Cichorium intybus, Cyperus rotundus, Paeonia suffruticosa, etc., which have been successfully identified for the treatment of obesity. PMID:22821661

  18. A new line-of-sight approach to the non-linear Cosmic Microwave Background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fidler, Christian; Koyama, Kazuya; Pettinari, Guido W.

    2015-04-01

    We develop the transport operator formalism, a new line-of-sight integration framework to calculate the anisotropies of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at the linear and non-linear level. This formalism utilises a transformation operator that removes all inhomogeneous propagation effects acting on the photon distribution function, thus achieving a split between perturbative collisional effects at recombination and non-perturbative line-of-sight effects at later times. The former can be computed in the framework of standard cosmological perturbation theory with a second-order Boltzmann code such as SONG, while the latter can be treated within a separate perturbative scheme allowing the use of non-linear Newtonian potentials. We thus provide a consistent framework to compute all physical effects contained in the Boltzmann equation and to combine the standard remapping approach with Boltzmann codes at any order in perturbation theory, without assuming that all sources are localised at recombination.

  19. US--EC fuel cycle study: Background document to the approach and issues

    SciTech Connect

    Cantor, Robin; Lee, Russell

    1992-11-01

    In February 1991, DOE and the Commission of the European Communities (EC), signed a joint statement regarding the external costs of fuel cycles. This 18-month agreement committed their respective organizations to ``develop a comparative analytical methodology and to develop the best range of estimates of external costs from secondary sources`` for eight fuel cycles and four conservation options. In our study, a fuel cycle is defined as the series of physical and chemical processes and activities that are required to generate electricity from a specific fuel or resource. This foundation phase of the study is primarily limited to developing and demonstrating methods for estimating impacts and their monetized value, what we term ``damages`` or ``benefits,`` leaving aside the extent to which such damages have been internalized. However, Appendix C provides the conceptual framework for evaluating the extent of internalization. This report is a background document to introduce the study approach and to discuss the major conceptual and practical issues entailed by the incremental damage problem. As a background document, the report seeks to communicate an overview of the study and the important methodological choices that were made to conduct the research. In successive sections of the report, the methodological tools used in the study are discussed; the ecological and health impacts are reviewed using the coal fuel cycle as a reference case; and, in the final chapter, the methods for valuing impacts are detailed.

  20. US--EC fuel cycle study: Background document to the approach and issues

    SciTech Connect

    Cantor, Robin; Russell, Lee; Krupnick, Alan; Smith, Hilary; Schaffhauser, Jr., A.; Barnthouse, Larry; Cada, Glen; Kroodsma, Roger; Turner, Robb; Easterly, Clay; Jones, Troyce; Burtraw, Dallas; Harrington, Winston; Freeman, A. Myrick

    1992-11-01

    In February 1991, DOE and the Commission of the European Communities (EC), signed a joint statement regarding the external costs of fuel cycles. This 18-month agreement committed their respective organizations to develop a comparative analytical methodology and to develop the best range of estimates of external costs from secondary sources'' for eight fuel cycles and four conservation options. In our study, a fuel cycle is defined as the series of physical and chemical processes and activities that are required to generate electricity from a specific fuel or resource. This foundation phase of the study is primarily limited to developing and demonstrating methods for estimating impacts and their monetized value, what we term damages'' or benefits,'' leaving aside the extent to which such damages have been internalized. However, Appendix C provides the conceptual framework for evaluating the extent of internalization. This report is a background document to introduce the study approach and to discuss the major conceptual and practical issues entailed by the incremental damage problem. As a background document, the report seeks to communicate an overview of the study and the important methodological choices that were made to conduct the research. In successive sections of the report, the methodological tools used in the study are discussed; the ecological and health impacts are reviewed using the coal fuel cycle as a reference case; and, in the final chapter, the methods for valuing impacts are detailed.

  1. Pharmacokinetic Modeling of Manganese III. Physiological Approaches Accounting for Background and Tracer Kinetics

    SciTech Connect

    Teeguarden, Justin G.; Gearhart, Jeffrey; Clewell, III, H. J.; Covington, Tammie R.; Nong, Andy; Anderson, Melvin E.

    2007-01-01

    Manganese (Mn) is an essential nutrient. Mn deficiency is associated with altered lipid (Kawano et al. 1987) and carbohydrate metabolism (Baly et al. 1984; Baly et al. 1985), abnormal skeletal cartilage development (Keen et al. 2000), decreased reproductive capacity, and brain dysfunction. Occupational and accidental inhalation exposures to aerosols containing high concentrations of Mn produce neurological symptoms with Parkinson-like characteristics in workers. At present, there is also concern about use of the manganese-containing compound, methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT), in unleaded gasoline as an octane enhancer. Combustion of MMT produces aerosols containing a mixture of manganese salts (Lynam et al. 1999). These Mn particulates may be inhaled at low concentrations by the general public in areas using MMT. Risk assessments for essential elements need to acknowledge that risks occur with either excesses or deficiencies and the presence of significant amounts of these nutrients in the body even in the absence of any exogenous exposures. With Mn there is an added complication, i.e., the primary risk is associated with inhalation while Mn is an essential dietary nutrient. Exposure standards for inhaled Mn will need to consider the substantial background uptake from normal ingestion. Andersen et al. (1999) suggested a generic approach for essential nutrient risk assessment. An acceptable exposure limit could be based on some ‘tolerable’ change in tissue concentration in normal and exposed individuals, i.e., a change somewhere from 10 to 25 % of the individual variation in tissue concentration seen in a large human population. A reliable multi-route, multi-species pharmacokinetic model would be necessary for the implementation of this type of dosimetry-based risk assessment approach for Mn. Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models for various xenobiotics have proven valuable in contributing to a variety of chemical specific risk

  2. Blurring the Inputs: A Natural Language Approach to Sensitivity Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kleb, William L.; Thompson, Richard A.; Johnston, Christopher O.

    2007-01-01

    To document model parameter uncertainties and to automate sensitivity analyses for numerical simulation codes, a natural-language-based method to specify tolerances has been developed. With this new method, uncertainties are expressed in a natural manner, i.e., as one would on an engineering drawing, namely, 5.25 +/- 0.01. This approach is robust and readily adapted to various application domains because it does not rely on parsing the particular structure of input file formats. Instead, tolerances of a standard format are added to existing fields within an input file. As a demonstration of the power of this simple, natural language approach, a Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis is performed for three disparate simulation codes: fluid dynamics (LAURA), radiation (HARA), and ablation (FIAT). Effort required to harness each code for sensitivity analysis was recorded to demonstrate the generality and flexibility of this new approach.

  3. Natural radionuclide and radiological assessment of building materials in high background radiation areas of Ramsar, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Bavarnegin, Elham; Moghaddam, Masoud Vahabi; Fathabadi, Nasrin

    2013-01-01

    Building materials, collected from different sites in Ramsar, a northern coastal city in Iran, were analyzed for their natural radionuclide contents. The measurements were carried out using a high resolution high purity Germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometer system. The activity concentration of 226Ra, 232Th, and 40K content varied from below the minimum detection limit up to 86,400 Bqkg-1, 187 Bqkg-1, and 1350 Bqkg-1, respectively. The radiological hazards incurred from the use of these building materials were estimated through various radiation hazard indices. The result of this survey shows that values obtained for some samples are more than the internationally accepted maximum limits and as such, the use of them as a building material pose significant radiation hazard to individuals. PMID:23776313

  4. Natural hydrocarbon background in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound, Alaska: Oil vs coal

    SciTech Connect

    Short, J.W.; Wright, B.A.; Kvenvolden, K.A.; Carlson, P.R.; Hostettler, F.D.; Rosenbauer, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    The source of the background hydrocarbons in benthic sediments of Prince William Sound (PWS), AK, where the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) occurred, has been ascribed to oil seeps in coastal areas of the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The authors present evidence that coal is a more plausible source, including (i) high concentrations of total PAH (TPAH), between 1,670 and 3,070 ng/g, in continental shelf sediments adjacent to the coastal region containing extensive coal deposits; (ii) PAH composition patterns of sediments along with predictive models that are consistent with coal but not oil; (iii) low ratios of triaromatic steranes of methylchrysenes found in sediments and coals, contrasting with the high ratios found in seep oil; and (iv) bioaccumulation of PAH in salmon collected within 100 m of the Katalla oil seeps but not in filter-feeding mussels collected near oilfield drainages 9 km from the seeps, indicating negligible transport of bioavailable PAH from Katalla seeps to the GOA. In contrast with oil, PAH in coal are not bioavailable, so the presence of coal in these benthic sediments confers no adaptive benefit to biota of the marine ecosystem with respect to PAH insults from anthropogenic sources.

  5. The Nature of the Unresolved Extragalactic Cosmic Soft X-Ray Background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cappelluti, N.; Ranalli, P.; Roncarelli, M.; Arevalo, P.; Zamorani, G.; Comastri, A.; Gilli, R.; Rovilos, E.; Vignali, C.; Allevato, V.; Finoguenov, A.; Miyaji, T.; Nicastro, F.; Georgantopoulos, I.; Kashlinsky, A.

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we investigate the power spectrum of the unresolved 0.5-2 keV cosmic X-ray background (CXB) with deep Chandra 4-Msec (Ms) observations in the Chandra Deep Field South (CDFS). We measured a signal that, on scales >30 arcsec, is significantly higher than the shot noise and is increasing with angular scale. We interpreted this signal as the joint contribution of clustered undetected sources like active galactic nuclei (AGN), galaxies and the intergalactic medium (IGM). The power of unresolved cosmic source fluctuations accounts for approximately 12 per cent of the 0.5-2 keV extragalactic CXB. Overall, our modelling predicts that approximately 20 per cent of the unresolved CXB flux is produced by low-luminosity AGN, approximately 25 per cent by galaxies and approximately 55 per cent by the IGM. We do not find any direct evidence of the so-called 'warm hot intergalactic medium' (i.e. matter with 10(exp 5) less than T less than 10(exp 7) K and density contrast delta less than 1000), but we estimated that it could produce about 1/7 of the unresolved CXB. We placed an upper limit on the space density of postulated X-ray-emitting early black holes at z greater than 7.5 and compared it with supermassive black hole evolution models.

  6. Cutaneous delivery of natural antioxidants: the enhancement approaches.

    PubMed

    Aljuffali, Ibrahim A; Hsu, Ching-Yun; Lin, Yin-Ku; Fang, Jia-You

    2015-01-01

    Topically applied natural antioxidants can be an effective treatment for inhibiting oxidative damage and photoaging of the skin. Due to the barrier function of the stratum corneum (SC), it is necessary to use an enhancement approach to promote the cutaneous absorption of natural antioxidants. Some factors that should be considered when developing delivery systems for natural antioxidants include increased solubility, enhanced storage stability, improved permeability and bioavailability, skin targeting, and minimal side effects. This review describes the skin delivery systems for natural antioxidant permeation that have been developed during the last decade. The antioxidants introduced include vitamins, polyphenols, and carotenoids. Various types of formulations are employed to improve the skin penetration of the antioxidants, such as hydrogels, cyclodextrin, microemulsions, nanoparticles, liposomes and niosomes. This review focuses on the introduction of natural antioxidants used in skin protection, the mechanisms of antioxidant activity on the skin, and formulation designs for enhancing absorption and efficacy. PMID:25925121

  7. Patterns of Population Differentiation and Natural Selection on the Celiac Disease Background Risk Network

    PubMed Central

    Sams, Aaron; Hawks, John

    2013-01-01

    Celiac disease is a common small intestinal inflammatory condition induced by wheat gluten and related proteins from rye and barley. Left untreated, the clinical presentation of CD can include failure to thrive, malnutrition, and distension in juveniles. The disease can additionally lead to vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and osteoporosis. Therefore, CD potentially negatively affected fitness in past populations utilizing wheat, barley, and rye. Previous analyses of CD risk variants have uncovered evidence for positive selection on some of these loci. These studies also suggest the possibility that risk for common autoimmune conditions such as CD may be the result of positive selection on immune related loci in the genome to fight infection. Under this evolutionary scenario, disease phenotypes may be a trade-off from positive selection on immunity. If this hypothesis is generally true, we can expect to find a signal of natural selection when we survey across the network of loci known to influence CD risk. This study examines the non-HLA autosomal network of gene loci associated with CD risk in Europe. We reject the null hypothesis of neutrality on this network of CD risk loci. Additionally, we can localize evidence of selection in time and space by adding information from the genome of the Tyrolean Iceman. While we can show significant differentiation between continental regions across the CD network, the pattern of evidence is not consistent with primarily recent (Holocene) selection across this network in Europe. Further localization of ancient selection on this network may illuminate the ecological pressures acting on the immune system during this critically interesting phase of our evolution. PMID:23936230

  8. A new approach to remove interorder background in high dispersion IUE images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Myron A.

    1990-01-01

    A two dimensional Chebyshev interpolating scheme, followed by modeling of point spread functions as Voigt profiles, is proposed for final archiving IUESIPS to remove the interorder overlap from the smoothed background fluxes of high dispersion International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) images. Tests of the first and last stages of the algorithm suggest that it can give a considerably better zero point than the old IUESIPS algorithm which samples local interorder background.

  9. Natural background levels and threshold values of chemical species in three large-scale groundwater bodies in Northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Molinari, Antonio; Guadagnini, Laura; Marcaccio, Marco; Guadagnini, Alberto

    2012-05-15

    We analyze natural background levels (NBLs) and threshold values (TVs) of spatially distributed chemical species (NH(4), B and As) which may be a potential pressure and concern in three large scale alluvial and fluvio-deltaic aquifers at different depths of the Apennines and Po river plains in Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy. Our results are based on statistical methodologies designed to separate the natural and anthropogenic contributions in monitored concentrations by modeling the empirical distribution of the detected concentration with a mixture of probability density functions. Available chemical observations are taken over a 20 years period and are associated with different depths and cover planar investigation scales of the order of hundreds of kilometers. High concentration values detected for NH(4) and B appear to be related to high natural background levels. Due to interaction with the host rock in different geochemical environments we observed that concentration vary in time and space (including in depth) consistently with the hydrogeochemical features and the occurrence of natural attenuation mechanisms in the analyzed reservoirs. Conversely, estimated As NBLs are not consistent with the conceptual model of the hydrogeochemical behavior of the systems analyzed and experimental evidences of As content in aquifer cores. This is due to the inability of these techniques to incorporate the complex dynamics of the processes associated with the specific hydrogeochemical setting. Statistical analyses performed upon aggregating the concentration data according to different time observation windows allow identifying temporal dynamics of NBLs and TVs of target compounds within the observation time frame. Our results highlight the benefit of a dynamic monitoring process and analysis of well demarcated groundwater bodies to update the associated NBLs as a function of the temporal dependence of natural processes occurring in the subsurface. Monitoring protocols could

  10. A Natural Approach to Teaching the German Subjunctive.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jappinen, Ilona

    1986-01-01

    Describes a three-step process which enables students to understand the subjunctive in German. This method is based on Stephen Krashen and Tracy Terrell's Natural Approach and involves students in communicative situations through the use of props, dialogs, and mini-dramas. (SED)

  11. Quality assurance of temporal variability of natural decay chain and neutron induced background for low-level NORM analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Yoho, Michael; Porterfield, Donivan R.; Landsberger, Sheldon

    2015-09-22

    In this study, twenty-one high purity germanium (HPGe) background spectra were collected over 2 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory. A quality assurance methodology was developed to monitor spectral background levels from thermal and fast neutron flux levels and naturally occurring radioactive material decay series radionuclides. 238U decay products above 222Rn demonstrated minimal temporal variability beyond that expected from counting statistics. 238U and 232Th progeny below Rn gas displayed at most twice the expected variability. Further, an analysis of the 139 keV 74Ge(n, γ) and 691 keV 72Ge(n, n') spectral features demonstrated temporal stability for both thermal and fast neutron fluxes.

  12. Quality assurance of temporal variability of natural decay chain and neutron induced background for low-level NORM analysis

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yoho, Michael; Porterfield, Donivan R.; Landsberger, Sheldon

    2015-09-22

    In this study, twenty-one high purity germanium (HPGe) background spectra were collected over 2 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory. A quality assurance methodology was developed to monitor spectral background levels from thermal and fast neutron flux levels and naturally occurring radioactive material decay series radionuclides. 238U decay products above 222Rn demonstrated minimal temporal variability beyond that expected from counting statistics. 238U and 232Th progeny below Rn gas displayed at most twice the expected variability. Further, an analysis of the 139 keV 74Ge(n, γ) and 691 keV 72Ge(n, n') spectral features demonstrated temporal stability for both thermal and fast neutronmore » fluxes.« less

  13. Study of natural radionuclide concentrations in an area of elevated radiation background in the northern districts of Bangladesh.

    PubMed

    Hamid, B N; Chowdhury, M I; Alam, M N; Islam, M N

    2002-01-01

    The activity concentrations of naturally occurring radioactive materials in soil samples from an elevated radiation background area of three northern districts of Bangladesh were determined using gamma ray spectrometry. The outdoor and indoor external effective dose rates and the radiation hazard indices from these soil activities were evaluated. The dose rates were found to be about four times higher than the reported world average value. The concentration of natural radionuclides, derived radium equivalent activities and the representative level indices were also found to be higher. Recommendations on radiological and dosimetric measures have been suggested with an aim of minimising the harmful effects of ionising radiation to the population of the area concerned. PMID:11926374

  14. Educational Background, Teaching Experience and Teachers' Views on the Inclusion of Nature of Science in the Science Curriculum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martín-Díaz, M. J.

    2006-08-01

    The aim of this research is to ascertain teachers’ opinions on what elements of nature of science (NOS) and science technology society relationships (STS) should be taught in school science. To this end an adapted version of the questionnaire developed by Osborne et al. is used. Our results show that experts consulted by Osborne et al. and Spanish teachers confer similar importance on the provisional, experimental, and predictive nature of scientific knowledge based on some of the procedures used such as the drawing up of hypotheses and the analysis and interpretation of data. We also look into the relationship between the teachers’ views and their educational background.1 Results suggest that philosophy teachers are more concerned with the inclusion of NOS and STS topics in science curricula than science teachers, although further studies will be necessary. Some suggestions concerning the university training of science teachers are also discussed.

  15. LUCIFER, a potentially background-free approach to the search for neutrinoless double beta decay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nones, C.; Lucifer Group

    2011-08-01

    LUCIFER (Low-background Underground Cryogenic Installation For Elusive Rates) is a new project for the study of neutrinoless Double Beta Decay, based on the technology of scintillating bolometers. These devices promise a very efficient rejection of the alpha background, opening the way to a virtual background-free experiment if candidates with a transition energy higher than 2615 keV are investigated. The baseline candidate for LUCIFER is 82Se. This isotope will be embedded in ZnSe crystals grown with enriched selenium and operated as scintillating bolometers in a low-radioactivity underground dilution refrigerator. In this paper, the LUCIFER concept will be introduced. The sensitivity and the very promising prospects related to this project will be discussed.

  16. [Clinico-biochemical approach to the problem of psychogenic disorders and background].

    PubMed

    Pelipas, V E; Dmitrieva, T B

    1986-01-01

    total of 270 patients with psychogenic disturbances were studied. Three levels of the interaction between the background and psychogenesis were specified. In accordance with these levels psychogenic disturbances were presented in the form of continuous changes from the typical to the atypical, from the predominance of the psychogenic to the predominance of the endogenic. Study of the metabolism of catecholamines in 45 patients with a nuclear form of psychopathy has shown that the biological factor plays an important role in the understanding of correlation between psychogenesis and the background. PMID:3705853

  17. Preschool Teachers' Professional Background, Process Quality, and Job Attitudes: A Person-Centered Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeon, Lieny; Buettner, Cynthia K.; Hur, Eunhye

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: This exploratory study identified preschool teacher quality profiles in early childhood education settings using 9 indicators across teachers' professional background, observed process quality, and job attitudes toward teaching (e.g., job-related stress, satisfaction, and intention to leave the job). The sample consisted of 96…

  18. Does a Nurturing Approach That Uses an Outdoor Play Environment Build Resilience in Children from a Challenging Background?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McArdle, Karen; Harrison, Terri; Harrison, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Children from challenging backgrounds were brought to a woodland for a programme that sought to promote resilience at Camphill School. This qualitative study of one programme uses an ethnographic approach to research the effectiveness of this type of intervention. Case studies of three of the children are used to illustrate the ways in which…

  19. The proportion of childhood leukaemia incidence in Great Britain that may be caused by natural background ionizing radiation.

    PubMed

    Wakeford, R; Kendall, G M; Little, M P

    2009-04-01

    The aetiology of childhood leukaemia remains generally unknown, although exposure to moderate and high levels of ionizing radiation, such as those experienced during the atomic bombings of Japan or from radiotherapy, is an established cause. Risk models based primarily on studies of the Japanese atomic bomb survivors imply that low-level exposure to ionizing radiation, including ubiquitous natural background radiation, also raises the risk of childhood leukaemia. Using two sets of recently published leukaemia risk models and estimates of natural background radiation red-bone-marrow doses received by children, about 20% of the cases of childhood leukaemia in Great Britain are predicted to be attributable to this source. However, for one of these sets of risk models this attributable fraction is materially dependent on how the radiation-induced risk is assumed to be transferred between the Japanese atomic bomb survivors and Western children. Over a range of annual doses representing the range (0.5-2.5 mSv/year) experienced by most populations, the attributable proportion for the preferred risk-transfer model varies between 8 and 30%, with small deviations from a linear relationship that are largely due to the saturation of the model, although again this range of attributable fractions depends on the assumed transfer of risk between populations. PMID:19151785

  20. A hybrid approach for text detection in natural scenes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Runmin; Sang, Nong; Wang, Ruolin; Kuang, Xiaoqin

    2013-10-01

    In this paper, a hybrid approach is proposed to detect texts in natural scenes. It is performed by the following steps: Firstly, the edge map and the text saliency region are obtained. Secondly, the text candidate regions are detected by connected components (CC) based method and are identified by an off-line trained HOG classifier. And then, the remaining CCs are grouped into text lines with some heuristic strategies to make up for the false negatives. Finally, the text lines are broken into separate words. The performance of the proposed approach is evaluated on the location detection database of ICDAR 2003 robust reading competition. Experimental results demonstrate the validity of our approach and are competitive with other state-of-the-art algorithms.

  1. Global Surface Water Delineation under Heterogeneous Backgrounds Based on A Fuzzy Clustering Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Y.

    2015-12-01

    An accurate and robust method to extract terrestrial water bodies is critical to effectively manage the fundamental resources for terrestrial life. Conventional methods are frequently limited in terms of the uncertainty related to the coarse resolution of remotely sensed images and insufficient robustness caused by regional reflectance heterogeneity. Fuzzy clustering method (FCM) with local spatial information has proven to be capable of accounting for these limitations. This technique is however susceptible to immense false noise in original optical bands. A systematic surface water extraction method by synthesizing the water index (WI) method and a modified FCM (WIMFCM) was therefore proposed to improve the water extraction accuracy, the rationale of which is a background reflectance bias correction. Applications and validations were performed to sixteen background-heterogeneous sites in different parts of the world using the Landsat-8 OLI (Operational Land Imager) images, which differed from previous research focusing on water bodies with specific morphological features (e.g., linear rivers or regular lakes). Results obtained demonstrated that the use of the proposed WIMFCM could improve the accuracy of surface water body extraction without regional or seasonal limitations in comparison to alternative methods at both pixel and sub-pixel level. Additional tests carried out on MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data proved that the WIMFCM could be extended to global scale, as well as be used in near-real time water monitoring. The findings of this study are able to improve land cover mapping accuracy when using the optical satellite images under heterogeneous environments.

  2. The interaction of natural background gamma radiation with depleted uranium micro-particles in the human body.

    PubMed

    Pattison, John E

    2013-03-01

    In this study, some characteristics of the photo-electrons produced when natural background gamma radiation interacts with micron-sized depleted uranium (DU) particles in the human body have been estimated using Monte Carlo simulations. In addition, an estimate has been made of the likelihood of radiological health effects occurring due to such an exposure. Upon exposure to naturally occurring background gamma radiation, DU particles in the body will produce an enhancement of the dose to the tissue in the immediate vicinity of the particles due to the photo-electric absorption of the radiation in the particle. In this study, the photo-electrons produced by a 10 μm-size particle embedded in tissue at the centre of the human torso have been investigated. The mean energies of the photo-electrons in the DU particle and in the two consecutive immediately surrounding 2 μm-wide tissue shells around the particle were found to be 38, 49 and 50 keV, respectively, with corresponding ranges of 1.3, 38 and 39 μm, respectively. The total photo-electron fluence-rates in the two consecutive 2 μm-wide tissue layers were found to be 14% and 7% of the fluence-rate in the DU particle, respectively. The estimated dose enhancement due to one 10 μm-sized DU particle in 1 cm(3) of tissue was less than 2 in 10 million of the dose received by the tissue without a particle being present. The increase in risk of death from cancer due to this effect is consequently insignificant. PMID:23295360

  3. A Coupled Human-Natural Systems Approach to Valuing Natural Capital

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fenichel, E. P.; Abbott, J.; Fujitani, M.

    2012-12-01

    The idea that geological and biological natural resources provide ecosystem services and that the physical geological and biological stocks, referred to as ecological stocks, are forms of capital is not new, but has attracted increased attention since the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment was released in 2005. Yet, the exact meaning of these terms, the connection between natural capital and ecosystem services, and the broader links between biophysical science and economics is often vague. The conceptual connection between ecosystem services and natural capital is that ecosystem services are the flow of goods and services that people receive from natural resources, and these flows are generated by an endowment of ecological stocks. While individuals derive benefits from a flow of services, the extent that people value the underlying natural capital asset depends on institutional arrangements in addition to the ecological properties of the stocks, because the value of capital relates to the future flow of services. A coupled human-natural systems modeling approach can help understand the value of natural capital in addition to helping scientist and policy makers better manage earth's resources. The value of a capital asset is the net present value of the flow of service, often calculated by the NPV rule. The NPV rule almost always assumes perfectly functioning markets for services and capital, but for many important ecosystem services such markets simply do not exist. The NPV rule can be derived by maximizing the net present value of capital. Indeed, the NPV rule comes from the adjoint condition of an optimal control problem where the flow of services from the capital asset are the benefits, and the dynamics of the capital stock are the constraints. Yet, trying to apply the traditional NPV rule to ecosystem services and natural capital can be frustrated by not knowing where pieces of the puzzle fit. We compare the standard NPV rule with a modified NPV rule derived by

  4. A Hydrodynamic Approach to Cosmology: Nonlinear Effects on Cosmic Backgrounds in the Cold Dark Matter Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scaramella, Roberto; Cen, Renyue; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.

    1993-10-01

    Using the CDM model as a testbed, we produce and analyze sky maps of fluctuations in the cosmic background radiation field due to Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, as well as those seen in X-ray background at 1 keV and at 2 keV. These effects are due to the shock heating of baryons in the nonlinear phases of cosmic collapses. Comparing observations with computations provides a powerful tool to constrain cosmological models. We use a highly developed Eulerian mesh code with 1283 cells and 2 × 106 particles. Most of our information comes from simulations with box size 64 h-1 Mpc, but other calculations were made with L = 16 h-1 and L = 4 h-1 Mpc. A standard CDM input spectrum was used with amplitude defined by the requirement (ΔM/M)rms = 1/1.5 on 8 h-1 Mpc scales (lower than the COBE normalization by a factor of 1.6±0.4), with H0 = 50 km s-1 Mpc-1 and Ωb = 0.05. For statistical validity a large number of independent simulations must be run. In all, over 60 simulations were run from z = 20 to z = 0. We produce maps of 50' x 50' with 1' effective resolution by randomly stacking along the past light cone for 0.02 ≤ z ≤ 10 appropriate combinations of computational boxes of different comoving lengths, which are picked from among different realizations of initial conditions. We also compute time evolution, present intensity pixel distributions, and the autocorrelation function of sky fluctuations as a function of angular scale. Our most reliable results are obtained after deletion of bright sources having 1 keV intensity greater than 0.1 keV cm-2 sr-1 s-1 keV-1. Then for the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich parameter γ the mean and dispersion are [barγ, σ(γ)] = (4, 3) × 10-7 with a lognormal distribution providing a good fit for values of y greater than average. The angular correlation function (less secure) is roughly exponential with scale length ˜2'.5. For the X-ray intensity fluctuations, in units of keV s-1 sr-1 cm-2 keV-1 we find barIX1, X2 = (0.02, 0.006) and σX1, X2 = (0

  5. Embedded-explicit emergent literacy intervention I: Background and description of approach.

    PubMed

    Justice, Laura M; Kaderavek, Joan N

    2004-07-01

    This article, the first of a two-part series, provides background information and a general description of an emergent literacy intervention model for at-risk preschoolers and kindergartners. The embedded-explicit intervention model emphasizes the dual importance of providing young children with socially embedded opportunities for meaningful, naturalistic literacy experiences throughout the day, in addition to regular structured therapeutic interactions that explicitly target critical emergent literacy goals. The role of the speech-language pathologist (SLP) in the embedded-explicit model encompasses both indirect and direct service delivery: The SLP consults and collaborates with teachers and parents to ensure the highest quality and quantity of socially embedded literacy-focused experiences and serves as a direct provider of explicit interventions using structured curricula and/or lesson plans. The goal of this integrated model is to provide comprehensive emergent literacy interventions across a spectrum of early literacy skills to ensure the successful transition of at-risk children from prereaders to readers. PMID:15248791

  6. Rationale for a natural products approach to herbicide discovery.

    PubMed

    Dayan, Franck E; Owens, Daniel K; Duke, Stephen O

    2012-04-01

    Weeds continue to evolve resistance to all the known modes of herbicidal action, but no herbicide with a new target site has been commercialized in nearly 20 years. The so-called 'new chemistries' are simply molecules belonging to new chemical classes that have the same mechanisms of action as older herbicides (e.g. the protoporphyrinogen-oxidase-inhibiting pyrimidinedione saflufenacil or the very-long-chain fatty acid elongase targeting sulfonylisoxazoline herbicide pyroxasulfone). Therefore, the number of tools to manage weeds, and in particular those that can control herbicide-resistant weeds, is diminishing rapidly. There is an imminent need for truly innovative classes of herbicides that explore chemical spaces and interact with target sites not previously exploited by older active ingredients. This review proposes a rationale for a natural-products-centered approach to herbicide discovery that capitalizes on the structural diversity and ingenuity afforded by these biologically active compounds. The natural process of extended-throughput screening (high number of compounds tested on many potential target sites over long periods of times) that has shaped the evolution of natural products tends to generate molecules tailored to interact with specific target sites. As this review shows, there is generally little overlap between the mode of action of natural and synthetic phytotoxins, and more emphasis should be placed on applying methods that have proved beneficial to the pharmaceutical industry to solve problems in the agrochemical industry. PMID:22232033

  7. A Systematic Approach to Discover and Characterize Natural Plant Biostimulants

    PubMed Central

    Povero, Giovanni; Mejia, Juan F.; Di Tommaso, Donata; Piaggesi, Alberto; Warrior, Prem

    2016-01-01

    The use of natural plant biostimulants is proposed as an innovative solution to address the challenges to sustainable agriculture, to ensure optimal nutrient uptake, crop yield, quality, and tolerance to abiotic stress. However, the process of selection and characterization of plant biostimulant matrices is complex and involves a series of rigorous evaluations customized to the needs of the plant. Here, we propose a highly differentiated plant biostimulant development and production platform, which involves a combination of technology, processes, and know-how. Chemistry, biology and omic concepts are combined/integrated to investigate and understand the specific mode(s) of action of bioactive ingredients. The proposed approach allows to predict and characterize the function of natural compounds as biostimulants. By managing and analyzing massive amounts of complex data, it is therefore possible to discover, evaluate and validate new product candidates, thus expanding the uses of existing products to meet the emerging needs of agriculture. PMID:27092156

  8. Sensitivity analysis approach to multibody systems described by natural coordinates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiufeng; Wang, Yabin

    2014-03-01

    The classical natural coordinate modeling method which removes the Euler angles and Euler parameters from the governing equations is particularly suitable for the sensitivity analysis and optimization of multibody systems. However, the formulation has so many principles in choosing the generalized coordinates that it hinders the implementation of modeling automation. A first order direct sensitivity analysis approach to multibody systems formulated with novel natural coordinates is presented. Firstly, a new selection method for natural coordinate is developed. The method introduces 12 coordinates to describe the position and orientation of a spatial object. On the basis of the proposed natural coordinates, rigid constraint conditions, the basic constraint elements as well as the initial conditions for the governing equations are derived. Considering the characteristics of the governing equations, the newly proposed generalized-α integration method is used and the corresponding algorithm flowchart is discussed. The objective function, the detailed analysis process of first order direct sensitivity analysis and related solving strategy are provided based on the previous modeling system. Finally, in order to verify the validity and accuracy of the method presented, the sensitivity analysis of a planar spinner-slider mechanism and a spatial crank-slider mechanism are conducted. The test results agree well with that of the finite difference method, and the maximum absolute deviation of the results is less than 3%. The proposed approach is not only convenient for automatic modeling, but also helpful for the reduction of the complexity of sensitivity analysis, which provides a practical and effective way to obtain sensitivity for the optimization problems of multibody systems.

  9. U.S.-EC Fuel Cycle Study: Background Document to the Approach and Issues

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, R.

    1992-11-01

    Introducing social costs into utility decision making is not the first best policy for internalizing damages associated with energy use. If this approach is applied to electric utilities only, energy markets could become distorted. It introduces possible anti-new source bias if applied to only new sources. It requires that other policies, such as potentially inefficient environmental laws, be taken as a given. It offers an inappropriate jurisdictional control for many issues, such as global warming or foreign policy, which will be a source of frustration for many advocates. And it could even result in increases in pollution. It would be preferable for federal and state laws to be set and designed efficiently affecting all sectors of the economy. Nonetheless, application and investment of the concept of social costing of electricity can lead to more efficient electricity generation choices. While the piecemeal problem is potentially significant, so are the benefits of social costing.

  10. A Parametric Approach To Mirror Natural Frequency Calculations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nowak, William J.

    1984-01-01

    A hybrid analytical/graphical method is presented to calculate the fundamental natural frequency of rectangular mirrors mounted at 3 points. A NASTRAN assisted parametric approach was used to calculate the characteristic roots of the plate vibration equation for mirrors with aspect ratios ranging from 1.0 x 1.0 to 10.0 x 1.0. Also considered were simply supported boundary conditions at three mirror corner points or at two corner points on one edge and one point along the opposite edge. Experimental varification within 6.0% was achieved for the extreme case tested with approximately a +2.0% average experimental error overall.

  11. Research on tracking approach to weak small targets under sky background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jinling; Miao, Dong; Zhou, Wensheng; Shen, Jiarui; Chen, Nao; Kang, Bo

    2014-09-01

    The infrared (IR) target recognizing and tracking technique is widely applied to many fields such as industries, navigation, weapon controlling and guiding and so on. Its application in military field has become the research hotspot. The stability of target tracking is the most important in military applications. However, it is difficult to track the aerial target because of the complex background and noise interference, especially from long distance, which make tracking targets even harder. In this paper, a novel image tracking system is designed, which uses template matching algorithm combined with Kalman filter. Because of the noise in image, the presence of occlusion, and the deformation of tracked target, some tracking algorithms may fail. So it is the main idea in this paper to merge the advantages from the tracking algorithms, and track the target real time. The algorithm for weak small targets from the image is based on template matching algorithm. In order to overcome the problems related to the changes of unpredictable circumstance, Kalman filter tracking algorithm is used. For the disadvantage of template matching algorithm towards occasions in target tracking, such as target occlusion, drastic change of image intensity, the relevant solutions are proposed. In cases when the target is occluded or moves more than the operational limits of the tracking module, Kalman filter is used to predict the object location. Thus, automatic detection and tracking of target in real-time is achieved and the proposed method is more robust in target tracking. The results show that the algorithm can realize target tracking under complicated scenes. It also improves the tracking stability, capacity of anti-interfering and running efficiency.

  12. Local participation in natural resource monitoring: a characterization of approaches.

    PubMed

    Danielsen, Finn; Burgess, Neil D; Balmford, Andrew; Donald, Paul F; Funder, Mikkel; Jones, Julia P G; Alviola, Philip; Balete, Danilo S; Blomley, Tom; Brashares, Justin; Child, Brian; Enghoff, Martin; Fjeldså, Jon; Holt, Sune; Hübertz, Hanne; Jensen, Arne E; Jensen, Per M; Massao, John; Mendoza, Marlynn M; Ngaga, Yonika; Poulsen, Michael K; Rueda, Ricardo; Sam, Moses; Skielboe, Thomas; Stuart-Hill, Greg; Topp-Jørgensen, Elmer; Yonten, Deki

    2009-02-01

    The monitoring of trends in the status of species or habitats is routine in developed countries, where it is funded by the state or large nongovernmental organizations and often involves large numbers of skilled amateur volunteers. Far less monitoring of natural resources takes place in developing countries, where state agencies have small budgets, there are fewer skilled professionals or amateurs, and socioeconomic conditions prevent development of a culture of volunteerism. The resulting lack of knowledge about trends in species and habitats presents a serious challenge for detecting, understanding, and reversing declines in natural resource values. International environmental agreements require signatories undertake systematic monitoring of their natural resources, but no system exists to guide the development and expansion of monitoring schemes. To help develop such a protocol, we suggest a typology of monitoring categories, defined by their degree of local participation, ranging from no local involvement with monitoring undertaken by professional researchers to an entirely local effort with monitoring undertaken by local people. We assessed the strengths and weaknesses of each monitoring category and the potential of each to be sustainable in developed or developing countries. Locally based monitoring is particularly relevant in developing countries, where it can lead to rapid decisions to solve the key threats affecting natural resources, can empower local communities to better manage their resources, and can refine sustainable-use strategies to improve local livelihoods. Nevertheless, we recognize that the accuracy and precision of the monitoring undertaken by local communities in different situations needs further study and field protocols need to be further developed to get the best from the unrealized potential of this approach. A challenge to conservation biologists is to identify and establish the monitoring system most relevant to a particular

  13. A multimodal spectral approach to characterize rhythm in natural speech.

    PubMed

    Alexandrou, Anna Maria; Saarinen, Timo; Kujala, Jan; Salmelin, Riitta

    2016-01-01

    Human utterances demonstrate temporal patterning, also referred to as rhythm. While simple oromotor behaviors (e.g., chewing) feature a salient periodical structure, conversational speech displays a time-varying quasi-rhythmic pattern. Quantification of periodicity in speech is challenging. Unimodal spectral approaches have highlighted rhythmic aspects of speech. However, speech is a complex multimodal phenomenon that arises from the interplay of articulatory, respiratory, and vocal systems. The present study addressed the question of whether a multimodal spectral approach, in the form of coherence analysis between electromyographic (EMG) and acoustic signals, would allow one to characterize rhythm in natural speech more efficiently than a unimodal analysis. The main experimental task consisted of speech production at three speaking rates; a simple oromotor task served as control. The EMG-acoustic coherence emerged as a sensitive means of tracking speech rhythm, whereas spectral analysis of either EMG or acoustic amplitude envelope alone was less informative. Coherence metrics seem to distinguish and highlight rhythmic structure in natural speech. PMID:26827019

  14. Speakers urge a unified approach to mitigating natural hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, M. Catherine

    On November 3, while wildfires consumed acres of coastal land in California, the U.S. Natural Hazards Symposium in Washington, D.C., addressed the threat of natural hazards in the United States, disaster mitigation and recovery, and the need to consider natural hazards in land development plans. Several of the scheduled speakers were unable to participate because they were called to California to investigate the fires, including keynote speaker James Witt, the new director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).Substitute keynote speaker Harvey Ryland, Witt's senior adviser at FEMA, emphasized that “we must sell mitigation as an effective means of protecting people and property.” He discussed FEMA's new “National Mitigation Strategy,” which will serve as the basis for its emergency management program. The strategy is expected to be in place by January 1995. As part of the approach, FEMA will establish a mitigation directorate to organize various disaster mitigation efforts in one office. Ryland also discussed the idea of creating risk reduction enterprise zones, designated high risk areas that would offer incentives to property owners who take proper mitigation measures. “Such incentives would be offset by reduced disaster assistance costs,” Ryland added.

  15. Prevention of microbial communities: novel approaches based natural products.

    PubMed

    Mogosanu, George D; Grumezescu, Alexandru M; Huang, Keng-Shiang; Bejenaru, Ludovic E; Bejenaru, Cornelia

    2015-01-01

    Firmly attached to different living or non-living, solid or fluid surfaces rich in nutrients and moisture, microbial biofilm is a matter of great interest due to its major importance for the healthcare community. Depending on common strategies such as mutual protection and hibernation (quiescent bacteria), the resistance, survival and virulence of microbial communities have large implications for human pathology, clinical environment and biomedical devices. The microbial biofilm is continuously changing, stimulating inflammation, increasing vascular permeability and preventing the action of macrophages. About 80% of human infections affecting the gastrointestinal, genitourinary and respiratory systems, oral mucosa and teeth, eyes, middle ear and skin are caused by biofilm-associated microorganisms. Therefore, the search for modern strategies is even more important as microbial biofilms resistant to conventional antibiotics, antiseptics and disinfectants are involved in the frequent treatment failures of some chronic inflammatory diseases and wounds. Natural products containing secondary metabolites, such as aromatic compounds, sulphurated derivatives, terpenoids (essential oils) and alkaloids as quorum-sensing inhibitors and biofilm disruptors, are promising alternatives for the prophylaxis and treatment of chronic infections. Surface modification of medical devices with non-polar functionalized nanoparticles stabilizes the natural compounds antibiofilm activity and inhibits microbial adhesion and biofilm formation and growth for a longer period of time. In this regard, an interdisciplinary approach is needed due to the large number of natural derivatives alone or in combination with biocompatible and biodegradable micro-/ nano-engineered materials. PMID:25594287

  16. Combining natural background levels (NBLs) assessment with indicator kriging analysis to improve groundwater quality data interpretation and management.

    PubMed

    Ducci, Daniela; de Melo, M Teresa Condesso; Preziosi, Elisabetta; Sellerino, Mariangela; Parrone, Daniele; Ribeiro, Luis

    2016-11-01

    The natural background level (NBL) concept is revisited and combined with indicator kriging method to analyze the spatial distribution of groundwater quality within a groundwater body (GWB). The aim is to provide a methodology to easily identify areas with the same probability of exceeding a given threshold (which may be a groundwater quality criteria, standards, or recommended limits for selected properties and constituents). Three case studies with different hydrogeological settings and located in two countries (Portugal and Italy) are used to derive NBL using the preselection method and validate the proposed methodology illustrating its main advantages over conventional statistical water quality analysis. Indicator kriging analysis was used to create probability maps of the three potential groundwater contaminants. The results clearly indicate the areas within a groundwater body that are potentially contaminated because the concentrations exceed the drinking water standards or even the local NBL, and cannot be justified by geogenic origin. The combined methodology developed facilitates the management of groundwater quality because it allows for the spatial interpretation of NBL values. PMID:27371772

  17. Modelling public risk evaluation of natural hazards: a conceptual approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plattner, Th.

    2005-04-01

    In recent years, the dealing with natural hazards in Switzerland has shifted away from being hazard-oriented towards a risk-based approach. Decreasing societal acceptance of risk, accompanied by increasing marginal costs of protective measures and decreasing financial resources cause an optimization problem. Therefore, the new focus lies on the mitigation of the hazard's risk in accordance with economical, ecological and social considerations. This modern proceeding requires an approach in which not only technological, engineering or scientific aspects of the definition of the hazard or the computation of the risk are considered, but also the public concerns about the acceptance of these risks. These aspects of a modern risk approach enable a comprehensive assessment of the (risk) situation and, thus, sound risk management decisions. In Switzerland, however, the competent authorities suffer from a lack of decision criteria, as they don't know what risk level the public is willing to accept. Consequently, there exists a need for the authorities to know what the society thinks about risks. A formalized model that allows at least a crude simulation of the public risk evaluation could therefore be a useful tool to support effective and efficient risk mitigation measures. This paper presents a conceptual approach of such an evaluation model using perception affecting factors PAF, evaluation criteria EC and several factors without any immediate relation to the risk itself, but to the evaluating person. Finally, the decision about the acceptance Acc of a certain risk i is made by a comparison of the perceived risk Ri,perc with the acceptable risk Ri,acc.

  18. Oil and Gas Drilling and Operations in Cave and Karst area: Background and development of a BLM approach

    SciTech Connect

    Goodbar, J.R. )

    1994-03-01

    Karst lands pose a unique set of problems for the oil and gas industry, as well as for the cave and karst environments. Since 1987, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been working with the oil and gas industry to develop acceptable practices for drilling and operation in karst lands. The mutual goals of industry and of the BLM is to minimize the potential of encountering those problems and reduce the extent of the problems, if they are encountered. BLM's approach is described in their [open quotes]Draft Guide for Oil and Gas Drilling and Operations in Cave and Karst Areas.[close quotes] This paper discusses the background and development of this guide with an emphasis on the conflict resolution approach of the BLM.

  19. "Bundle Data" Approach at GES DISC Targeting Natural Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shie, C. L.; Shen, S.; Kempler, S. J.

    2015-12-01

    Severe natural phenomena such as hurricane, volcano, blizzard, flood and drought have the potential to cause immeasurable property damages, great socioeconomic impact, and tragic loss of human life. From searching to assessing the "Big", i.e., massive and heterogeneous scientific data (particularly, satellite and model products) in order to investigate those natural hazards, it has, however, become a daunting task for Earth scientists and applications researchers, especially during recent decades. The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Service Center (GES DISC) has served "Big" Earth science data, and the pertinent valuable information and services to the aforementioned users of diverse communities for years. In order to help and guide our users to online readily (i.e., with a minimum effort) acquire their requested data from our enormous resource at GES DISC for studying their targeted hazard/event, we have thus initiated a "Bundle Data" approach in 2014, first targeting the hurricane event/topic. We have recently worked on new topics such as volcano and blizzard. The "bundle data" of a specific hazard/event is basically a sophisticated integrated data package consisting of a series of proper datasets containing a group of relevant ("knowledge-based") data variables readily accessible to users via a system-prearranged table linking those data variables to the proper datasets (URLs). This online approach has been developed by utilizing a few existing data services such as Mirador as search engine; Giovanni for visualization; and OPeNDAP for data access, etc. The online "Data Cookbook" site at GES DISC is the current host for the "bundle data". We are now also planning on developing an "Automated Virtual Collection Framework" that shall eventually accommodate the "bundle data", as well as further improve our management in "Big Data".

  20. Bundle Data Approach at GES DISC Targeting Natural Hazards

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shie, Chung-Lin; Shen, Suhung; Kempler, Steven J.

    2015-01-01

    Severe natural phenomena such as hurricane, volcano, blizzard, flood and drought have the potential to cause immeasurable property damages, great socioeconomic impact, and tragic loss of human life. From searching to assessing the Big, i.e., massive and heterogeneous scientific data (particularly, satellite and model products) in order to investigate those natural hazards, it has, however, become a daunting task for Earth scientists and applications researchers, especially during recent decades. The NASA Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Service Center (GES DISC) has served Big Earth science data, and the pertinent valuable information and services to the aforementioned users of diverse communities for years. In order to help and guide our users to online readily (i.e., with a minimum effort) acquire their requested data from our enormous resource at GES DISC for studying their targeted hazard event, we have thus initiated a Bundle Data approach in 2014, first targeting the hurricane event topic. We have recently worked on new topics such as volcano and blizzard. The bundle data of a specific hazard event is basically a sophisticated integrated data package consisting of a series of proper datasets containing a group of relevant (knowledge--based) data variables readily accessible to users via a system-prearranged table linking those data variables to the proper datasets (URLs). This online approach has been developed by utilizing a few existing data services such as Mirador as search engine; Giovanni for visualization; and OPeNDAP for data access, etc. The online Data Cookbook site at GES DISC is the current host for the bundle data. We are now also planning on developing an Automated Virtual Collection Framework that shall eventually accommodate the bundle data, as well as further improve our management in Big Data.

  1. Fungal communities as an experimental approach to Darwin's naturalization hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Morales, María Camila; Verdejo, Valentina; Orlando, Julieta; Carú, Margarita

    2016-01-01

    Darwin's naturalization hypothesis suggests that the success of an invasive species will be lower when colonizing communities are formed by phylogenetically related rather than unrelated species due to increased competition. Although microbial invasions are involved in both natural and anthropogenic processes, factors affecting the success of microbial invaders are unknown. A biological invasion assay was designed using Trichoderma cf. harzianum as the invader and two types of recipient communities assembled in microcosm assays: communities phylogenetically related to the invader, and communities phylogenetically unrelated to it. Both types of communities were invaded by T. cf. harzianum, and the success of colonization was monitored by qPCR; its effect on the genetic structure of recipient fungal communities was then assessed by DGGE profiles. T. cf. harzianum established itself in both communities, reaching 1000-10,000 times higher copy numbers in the non-related communities. However, invader establishment does not affect the structure of the invaded communities. These results suggest that the composition of recipient communities and their phylogenetic relationship to the invader affect the success of colonization by T. cf. harzianum. While this approach represents a very simplified assay, these microcosms enable an experimental test of Darwin's hypothesis in order to understand the biological invasion process in microbial communities. PMID:26506029

  2. Does human activity impact the natural antibiotic resistance background? Abundance of antibiotic resistance genes in 21 Swiss lakes.

    PubMed

    Czekalski, Nadine; Sigdel, Radhika; Birtel, Julia; Matthews, Blake; Bürgmann, Helmut

    2015-08-01

    Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are emerging environmental contaminants, known to be continuously discharged into the aquatic environment via human and animal waste. Freshwater aquatic environments represent potential reservoirs for ARG and potentially allow sewage-derived ARG to persist and spread in the environment. This may create increased opportunities for an eventual contact with, and gene transfer to, human and animal pathogens via the food chain or drinking water. However, assessment of this risk requires a better understanding of the level and variability of the natural resistance background and the extent of the human impact. We have analyzed water samples from 21 Swiss lakes, taken at sampling points that were not under the direct influence of local contamination sources and analyzed the relative abundance of ARG using quantitative real-time PCR. Copy numbers of genes mediating resistance to three different broad-spectrum antibiotic classes (sulfonamides: sul1, sul2, tetracyclines: tet(B), tet(M), tet(W) and fluoroquinolones: qnrA) were normalized to copy numbers of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. We used multiple linear regression to assess if ARG abundance is related to human activities in the catchment, microbial community composition and the eutrophication status of the lakes. Sul genes were detected in all sampled lakes, whereas only four lakes contained quantifiable numbers of tet genes, and qnrA remained below detection in all lakes. Our data indicate higher abundance of sul1 in lakes with increasing number and capacity of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the catchment. sul2 abundance was rather related to long water residence times and eutrophication status. Our study demonstrates the potential of freshwater lakes to preserve antibiotic resistance genes, and provides a reference for ARG abundance from lake systems with low human impact as a baseline for assessing ARG contamination in lake water. PMID:25913323

  3. Proteogenomic approaches for the molecular characterization of natural microbial communities.

    PubMed

    Banfield, Jillian F; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert L; Thelen, Michael P

    2005-01-01

    At the present time we know little about how microbial communities function in their natural habitats. For example, how do microorganisms interact with each other and their physical and chemical surroundings and respond to environmental perturbations? We might begin to answer these questions if we could monitor the ways in which metabolic roles are partitioned amongst members as microbial communities assemble, determine how resources such as carbon, nitrogen, and energy are allocated into metabolic pathways, and understand the mechanisms by which organisms and communities respond to changes in their surroundings. Because many organisms cannot be cultivated, and given that the metabolisms of those growing in monoculture are likely to differ from those of organisms growing as part of consortia, it is vital to develop methods to study microbial communities in situ. Chemoautotrophic biofilms growing in mine tunnels hundreds of meters underground drive pyrite (FeS(2)) dissolution and acid and metal release, creating habitats that select for a small number of organism types. The geochemical and microbial simplicity of these systems, the significant biomass, and clearly defined biological-inorganic feedbacks make these ecosystem microcosms ideal for development of methods for the study of uncultivated microbial consortia. Our approach begins with the acquisition of genomic data from biofilms that are sampled over time and in different growth conditions. We have demonstrated that it is possible to assemble shotgun sequence data to reveal the gene complement of the dominant community members and to use these data to confidently identify a significant fraction of proteins from the dominant organisms by mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. However, there are technical obstacles currently restricting this type of "proteogenomic" analysis. Composite genomic sequences assembled from environmental data from natural microbial communities do not capture the full range of

  4. Proteogenomic Approaches for the Molecular Characterization of Natural Microbial Communities

    SciTech Connect

    Banfield, Jillian F.; Verberkmoes, Nathan C; Hettich, Robert {Bob} L; Thelen, Michael P.

    2005-01-01

    At the present time we know little about how microbial communities function in their natural habitats. For example, how do microorganisms interact with each other and their physical and chemical surroundings and respond to environmental perturbations? We might begin to answer these questions if we could monitor the ways in which metabolic roles are partitioned amongst members as microbial communities assemble, determine how resources such as carbon, nitrogen, and energy are allocated into metabolic pathways, and understand the mechanisms by which organisms and communities respond to changes in their surroundings. Because many organisms cannot be cultivated, and given that the metabolisms of those growing in monoculture are likely to differ from those of organisms growing as part of consortia, it is vital to develop methods to study microbial communities in situ. Chemoautotrophic biofilms growing in mine tunnels hundreds of meters underground drive pyrite (FeS2) dissolution and acid and metal release, creating habitats that select for a small number of organism types. The geochemical and microbial simplicity of these systems, the significant biomass, and clearly defined biological-inorganic feedbacks make these ecosystem microcosms ideal for development of methods for the study of uncultivated microbial consortia. Our approach begins with the acquisition of genomic data from biofilms that are sampled over time and in different growth conditions. We have demonstrated that it is possible to assemble shotgun sequence data to reveal the gene complement of the dominant community members and to use these data to confidently identify a significant fraction of proteins from the dominant organisms by mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomics. However, there are technical obstacles currently restricting this type of "proteogenomic" analysis. Composite genomic sequences assembled from environmental data from natural microbial communities do not capture the full range of genetic

  5. A hybrid approach to detect and localize texts in natural scene images.

    PubMed

    Pan, Yi-Feng; Hou, Xinwen; Liu, Cheng-Lin

    2011-03-01

    Text detection and localization in natural scene images is important for content-based image analysis. This problem is challenging due to the complex background, the non-uniform illumination, the variations of text font, size and line orientation. In this paper, we present a hybrid approach to robustly detect and localize texts in natural scene images. A text region detector is designed to estimate the text existing confidence and scale information in image pyramid, which help segment candidate text components by local binarization. To efficiently filter out the non-text components, a conditional random field (CRF) model considering unary component properties and binary contextual component relationships with supervised parameter learning is proposed. Finally, text components are grouped into text lines/words with a learning-based energy minimization method. Since all the three stages are learning-based, there are very few parameters requiring manual tuning. Experimental results evaluated on the ICDAR 2005 competition dataset show that our approach yields higher precision and recall performance compared with state-of-the-art methods. We also evaluated our approach on a multilingual image dataset with promising results. PMID:20813645

  6. Educating for and through Nature: A Merleau-Pontian Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ruyu

    2008-01-01

    This paper aims to explore the relationship between humans and nature and the implied intimacy, so-call "ecophilia," in light of the French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. It is revealed from the Merleau-Pontian view of body and nature that there may be a more harmonious relationship between humankind and nature than the commonly assumed, and…

  7. Background Pathological Changes in Minipigs: A Comparison of the Incidence and Nature among Different Breeds and Populations of Minipigs.

    PubMed

    Helke, Kristi L; Nelson, Keith N; Sargeant, Aaron M; Jacob, Binod; McKeag, Sean; Haruna, Julius; Vemireddi, Vimala; Greeley, Melanie; Brocksmith, Derek; Navratil, Nicole; Stricker-Krongrad, Alain; Hollinger, Charlotte

    2016-04-01

    Swine, especially the miniature swine or minipigs, are increasingly being used in preclinical safety assessment of small molecules, biopharmaceutical agents, and medical devices as an alternate nonrodent species. Although swine have been used extensively in biomedical research, there is a paucity of information in the current literature detailing the incidence of background lesions and differences in incidence between commonly used breeds. This article is a collaborative effort between multiple organizations to define and document lesions found in the common breeds of minipigs used for toxicological risk assessment in North America (NA) and the European Union (EU). We retrospectively assessed 10 years of historical control data from several institutions located in NA and EU, covering the period of 2004-2015. Here we report the background lesions with consideration of breed and geographical location. To our knowledge, this is the first report documenting spontaneous background lesions in commonly used breeds of swine in both NA and EU. This report serves as a resource to pathologists and will aid in interpretation of findings and differentiation of background from test article-related changes. PMID:26534940

  8. Global Natural Disaster Risk Hotspots: Transition to a Regional Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lerner-Lam, A.; Chen, R.; Dilley, M.

    2005-12-01

    The "Hotspots Project" is a collaborative study of the global distribution and occurrence of multiple natural hazards and the associated exposures of populations and their economic output. In this study we assess the global risks of two disaster-related outcomes: mortality and economic losses. We estimate risk levels by combining hazard exposure with historical vulnerability for two indicators of elements at risk-gridded population and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per unit area - for six major natural hazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, drought, and cyclones. By calculating relative risks for each grid cell rather than for countries as a whole, we are able to estimate risk levels at sub-national scales. These can then be used to estimate aggregate relative multiple hazard risk at regional and national scales. Mortality-related risks are assessed on a 2.5' x 2.5' latitude-longitude grid of global population (GPW Version 3). Economic risks are assessed at the same resolution for gridded GDP per unit area, using World Bank estimates of GDP based on purchasing power parity. Global hazard data were compiled from multiple sources. The project collaborated directly with UNDP and UNEP, the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) at Columbia, and the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) in the creation of data sets for several hazards for which global data sets did not previously exist. Drought, flood and volcano hazards are characterized in terms of event frequency, storms by frequency and severity, earthquakes by frequency and ground acceleration exceedance probability, and landslides by an index derived from probability of occurrence. The global analysis undertaken in this project is clearly limited by issues of scale as well as by the availability and quality of data. For some hazards, there exist only 15- to 25-year global records with relatively crude spatial information. Data on historical disaster losses, and particularly on

  9. Early Intervention Practitioner Approaches To Natural Environment Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raab, Melinda; Dunst, Carl J.

    2004-01-01

    Practitioner beliefs about and understanding of natural environment interventions were examined. Sixteen early intervention practitioners from two programs in a southeastern state were interviewed about their understanding and use of natural environments as sources of learning opportunities for young children. Practitioners in one program had…

  10. Early Intervention Practitioner Approaches to Natural Environment Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raab, Melinda; Dunst, Carl J.

    2004-01-01

    Practitioner beliefs about and understanding of natural environment interventions were examined. Sixteen early intervention practitioners from two programs in a southeastern state were interviewed about their understanding and use of natural environments as sources of learning opportunities for young children. Practitioners in one program had…

  11. A Geographic Approach to the Study of Natural Gas.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheskin, Ira M.

    1980-01-01

    Provides information, tips, references, and materials to high school and college level geography teachers on developing a unit on natural gas. Data are presented in the form of tables, maps, figures, and textual analysis. (Author/DB)

  12. Integrated Molecular Analysis Indicates Undetectable Change in DNA Damage in Mice after Continuous Irradiation at ~ 400-fold Natural Background Radiation

    PubMed Central

    Olipitz, Werner; Wiktor-Brown, Dominika; Shuga, Joe; Pang, Bo; McFaline, Jose; Lonkar, Pallavi; Thomas, Aline; Mutamba, James T; Greenberger, Joel S; Samson, Leona D; Dedon, Peter C; Yanch, Jacquelyn C

    2012-01-01

    Background: In the event of a nuclear accident, people are exposed to elevated levels of continuous low dose-rate radiation. Nevertheless, most of the literature describes the biological effects of acute radiation. Objectives: DNA damage and mutations are well established for their carcinogenic effects. We assessed several key markers of DNA damage and DNA damage responses in mice exposed to low dose-rate radiation to reveal potential genotoxic effects associated with low dose-rate radiation. Methods: We studied low dose-rate radiation using a variable low dose-rate irradiator consisting of flood phantoms filled with 125Iodine-containing buffer. Mice were exposed to 0.0002 cGy/min (~ 400-fold background radiation) continuously over 5 weeks. We assessed base lesions, micronuclei, homologous recombination (HR; using fluorescent yellow direct repeat mice), and transcript levels for several radiation-sensitive genes. Results: We did not observe any changes in the levels of the DNA nucleobase damage products hypoxanthine, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine, 1,N6-ethenoadenine, or 3,N4-ethenocytosine above background levels under low dose-rate conditions. The micronucleus assay revealed no evidence that low dose-rate radiation induced DNA fragmentation, and there was no evidence of double strand break–induced HR. Furthermore, low dose-rate radiation did not induce Cdkn1a, Gadd45a, Mdm2, Atm, or Dbd2. Importantly, the same total dose, when delivered acutely, induced micronuclei and transcriptional responses. Conclusions: These results demonstrate in an in vivo animal model that lowering the dose-rate suppresses the potentially deleterious impact of radiation and calls attention to the need for a deeper understanding of the biological impact of low dose-rate radiation. PMID:22538203

  13. Novel approaches for stability improvement in natural medicines

    PubMed Central

    Thakur, Lovely; Ghodasra, Umang; Patel, Nilesh; Dabhi, Mahesh

    2011-01-01

    Natural product market has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. It results in the formulation of a number of proprietary herbal products, majority of them being multi-component formulations. With the advancement of herbal drug treatments, it has now been observed that many of the constituents present in the drug may react with each other, raising the serious concern about the stability of such formulations which is an important issue in the field of phytochemistry and natural medicines. Natural products are often prone to deterioration, especially during storage, leading to loss of active component, production of metabolites with no activity and, in extreme cases, production of toxic metabolites. This area needs to be addressed in order to determine the efficacy of the formulation. Understanding the problems related to natural product stability can give the idea of dealing with the stability issues. Modifications of the conventional herbal formulations can deal with the stability problems to a large extent. This article deals with the stability problems and is aimed to provide some tools and techniques to increase stability of natural medicines and herbal formulations. PMID:22096318

  14. Naturism and sexuality: broadening our approach to sexual wellbeing.

    PubMed

    Smith, Glenn; King, Michael

    2009-06-01

    This study aimed to investigate how people manage their sexuality when practicing naturism in the United Kingdom (UK). Thirty-nine self-identified naturists from across the UK were interviewed. Sexuality, when practicing naturism, was found often to be suppressed through the use of rules, geographical isolation and thoughts and behaviour. Some participants found ways of exploring and enjoying their sexuality by keeping feelings hidden and/or seeking out more sympathetic naturist environments. Naturist environments may offer a unique space in which to explore aspects of our sexuality that are currently pathologised, criminalised or commercialised. This has important implications for sexual health policy and promotion. PMID:18926761

  15. Emission Measurements from Natural Gas Development and Regional Background Characterization of Ambient Air Quality in the Marcellus Shale Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeCarlo, P. F.; Goetz, J.; Shaw, S. L.; Knipping, E. M.; Fortner, E.; Wormhoudt, J.; Massoli, P.; Floerchinger, C.; Brooks, B.; Herndon, S. C.; Kolb, C. E.; Knighton, W. B.

    2012-12-01

    Production of natural gas in the Marcellus shale formation is increasing rapidly due to the vast quantities of natural gas in the formation. Natural gas is liberated from the Marcellus Shale using horizontal drilling techniques, followed by hydraulic fracturing. Activities associated with preparation of a well pad, drilling of a well pad, fracturing of a well, and transport of materials (e.g. water, drilling equipment) to and from a well site, all have associated air emissions. Steady state gas production at well sites may also have additional contribution to air emissions of methane and NOx from gas transport infrastructure. A joint study with the Drexel University, Aerodyne Research and the Electric Power Research institute was conducted in the summer of 2012 to measure both the emissions from various stages of well development and to characterize current levels of air pollutants in the Marcellus Region. To achieve this, the Aerodyne mobile laboratory was deployed and measured in situ concentrations of a multitude of gas-phase and aerosol chemical components with state of the art instrumentation including quantum cascade laser systems, proton transfer mass spectrometry, tunable diode lasers and a soot particle aerosol mass spectrometer. Species quantified include CH4, C2H6, NO, NO2, CO, CO2, SO2, HONO, HOCO, HCOOH and many volatile organic compounds, and aerosol size and chemical composition. Real-time characterization of the air emissions from hydraulic fracturing and other shale gas operations allow for the estimation of emission factors that can be used in predictive air quality modeling for the region. Within the Marcellus Shale both areas of dry gas (>95% methane) and wet gas (contains higher levels of ethane and propane) are found. Measurements were conducted in two regions of Pennsylvania: the NE region that is predominantly dry gas, and the SW region where wet gas is found. A comparison of these two regions and associated impacts will be discussed

  16. Approaching Nature and Science through Outdoor Experience and Drama.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karvonen-Lee, Vireo

    1997-01-01

    Unit of study about rocks and the layers of the Earth focuses on building children's respect for nature by developing feelings of intimate relationship. Lesson plans include science activities (rock gathering, Earth models); "drama from the outside" (ritual to promote respect); literature readings; and "dramas from the inside" (guided imagery,…

  17. CONCEPTUAL BASIS FOR NATURAL ATTENUATION (NA) AS REMEDIATION APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    As used in enforcement actions at hazardous waste sites by U.S. EPA, monitored natural attenuation is a remedy fully equivalent to any other remedy. The acceptance of MNA is based on three lines of evidence: historical ground water and/or soil chemistry data that demonstrates a ...

  18. The approaches for the decision support in case natural hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vyazilov, Evgeny; Chunyaev, Nikita

    2013-04-01

    In spite of using highly automated systems of measurement, collecting, storing, handling, prediction and delivery of information on the marine environment, including natural hazards, the amount of damage from natural phenomena increases. Because information on the marine environment delivered to the industrial facilities not effectively used. To such information pays little attention by individual decision-makers and not always perform preventive measures necessary for reduce and prevent damage. Automation of information support will improve the efficiency management of the marine activities. In Russia develops "The Unified system of the information about World ocean" (ESIMO, http://esimo.ru/), that integrates observation, analysis, prognostic and climate data. Necessary to create tools to automatic selection natural disasters through all integrated data; notification decision-makers about arising natural hazards - software agent; provision of information in a compact form for the decision-makers; assessment of possible damage and costs to the preventive measures; providing information on the impacts of environment on economic facilities and recommendations for decision-making; the use of maps, diagrams, tables for reporting. Tools for automatic selection designed for identification of natural phenomena based on the resources ESIMO and corresponding critical values of the indicators environment. The result of this module will be constantly updated database of critical situations of environment for each object or technological process. To operational notify and provide current information about natural hazards proposes using a software agent that is installed on the computer decision-makers, which is activated in case critical situations and provides a minimum of information. In the event of natural disaster software agent should be able to inform decision-makers about this, providing information on the current situation, and the possibility for more and detailed

  19. Assessment of spatial distribution and radiological hazardous nature of radionuclides in high background radiation area, Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Sundarrajan, M; Paramasivam, K; Meenakshisundaram, V; Suresh, G

    2013-03-01

    The concentration and distribution of the natural radionuclides ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) have been analyzed for the beach sediments of Kerala with an aim of evaluating the radiation hazards. The ranges of activity concentrations of (238)U, (232)Th and (40)K are BDL-1187 ± 21.7 Bq/kg, BDL-5328 ± 23.2 Bq/kg and BDL-693 ± 31.2 Bq/kg respectively. Radiological parameters such as absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose equivalent, annual gonadal dose equivalent, radium equivalent, hazard index, gamma Index, activity utilization index and excess lifetime cancer risk are calculated to know the complete radiological hazardous nature. Concentration of radionuclides ((238)U and (232)Th) and all the calculated radiological parameters are higher in site number S(23) (Chavara beach) due to the presence of rich deposits of black sands. Average concentrations of radionuclides ((238)U and (232)Th) and all calculated radiological parameters are higher than the recommended level. Both univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were applied effectively to assess the distribution of the radionuclides. Univariate statistical analysis shows that the confirmation of infrequent extreme deviations of all radioactive variables. Cluster analysis shows that light minerals play a role in cluster I sampling sites and heavy minerals may be played in sampling sites of other clusters. Calculated activity ratio confirmed the presence of light and heavy minerals in above mentioned sampling sites. The Kerala beach sediments pose significant radiological threat to the people living in the area and tourists going to the beaches for recreation or to the sailors and fishermen involved in their activities in the study area. PMID:23262126

  20. Role of light and heavy minerals on natural radioactivity level of high background radiation area, Kerala, India.

    PubMed

    Ramasamy, V; Sundarrajan, M; Suresh, G; Paramasivam, K; Meenakshisundaram, V

    2014-02-01

    Natural radionuclides ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) concentrations and eight different radiological parameters have been analyzed for the beach sediments of Kerala with an aim of evaluating the radiation hazards. Activity concentrations ((238)U and (232)Th) and all the radiological parameters in most of the sites have higher values than recommended values. The Kerala beach sediments pose significant radiological threat to the people living in the area and tourists going to the beaches for recreation or to the sailors and fishermen involved in their activities in the study area. In order to know the light mineral characterization of the present sediments, mineralogical analysis has been carried out using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic technique. The eight different minerals are identified and they are characterized. Among the various observed minerals, the minerals such as quartz, microcline feldspar, kaolinite and calcite are major minerals. The relative distribution of major minerals is determined by calculating extinction co-efficient and the values show that the amount of quartz is higher than calcite and much higher than microcline feldspar. Crystallinity index is calculated to know the crystalline nature of quartz present in the sediments. Heavy mineral separation analysis has been carried out to know the total heavy mineral (THM) percentage. This analysis revealed the presence of nine heavy minerals. The minerals such as monazite, zircon, magnetite and illmenite are predominant. Due to the rapid and extreme changes occur in highly dynamic environments of sandy beaches, quantities of major light and heavy minerals are widely varied from site to site. Granulometric analysis shows that the sand is major content. Multivariate statistical (Pearson correlation, cluster and factor) analysis has been carried out to know the effect of mineralogy on radionuclide concentrations. The present study concluded that heavy minerals induce the (238)U and (232)Th

  1. Radon exhalation rate and natural radionuclide content in building materials of high background areas of Ramsar, Iran.

    PubMed

    Bavarnegin, E; Fathabadi, N; Vahabi Moghaddam, M; Vasheghani Farahani, M; Moradi, M; Babakhni, A

    2013-03-01

    Radon exhalation rates from building materials used in high background radiation areas (HBRA) of Ramsar were measured using an active radon gas analyzer with an emanation container. Radon exhalation rates from these samples varied from below the lower detection limit up to 384 Bq.m(-2) h(-1). The (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K contents were also measured using a high resolution HPGe gamma- ray spectrometer system. The activity concentration of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K content varied from below the minimum detection limit up to 86,400 Bq kg(-1), 187 Bq kg(-1) and 1350 Bq kg(-1), respectively. The linear correlation coefficient between radon exhalation rate and radium concentration was 0.90. The result of this survey shows that radon exhalation rate and radium content in some local stones used as basements are extremely high and these samples are main sources of indoor radon emanation as well as external gamma radiation from uranium series. PMID:22280998

  2. Sparsely ionizing diagnostic and natural background radiations are likely preventing cancer and other genomic-instability-associated diseases.

    PubMed

    Scott, Bobby R; Di Palma, Jennifer

    2007-01-01

    Routine diagnostic X-rays (e.g., chest X-rays, mammograms, computed tomography scans) and routine diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures using sparsely ionizing radiation forms (e.g., beta and gamma radiations) stimulate the removal of precancerous neo-plastically transformed and other genomically unstable cells from the body (medical radiation hormesis). The indicated radiation hormesis arises because radiation doses above an individual-specific stochastic threshold activate a system of cooperative protective processes that include high-fidelity DNA repair/apoptosis (presumed p53 related), an auxiliary apoptosis process (PAM process) that is presumed p53-independent, and stimulated immunity. These forms of induced protection are called adapted protection because they are associated with the radiation adaptive response. Diagnostic X-ray sources, other sources of sparsely ionizing radiation used in nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures, as well as radioisotope-labeled immunoglobulins could be used in conjunction with apoptosis-sensitizing agents (e.g., the natural phenolic compound resveratrol) in curing existing cancer via low-dose fractionated or low-dose, low-dose-rate therapy (therapeutic radiation hormesis). Evidence is provided to support the existence of both therapeutic (curing existing cancer) and medical (cancer prevention) radiation hormesis. Evidence is also provided demonstrating that exposure to environmental sparsely ionizing radiations, such as gamma rays, protect from cancer occurrence and the occurrence of other diseases via inducing adapted protection (environmental radiation hormesis). PMID:18648608

  3. Hepatitis C Virus and Natural Compounds: a New Antiviral Approach?

    PubMed Central

    Calland, Noémie; Dubuisson, Jean; Rouillé, Yves; Séron, Karin

    2012-01-01

    Hepatitis C is a major global health burden with an estimated 160 million infected individuals worldwide. This long-term disease evolves slowly, often leading to chronicity and potentially to liver failure. There is no anti-HCV vaccine, and, until recently, the only treatment available, based on pegylated interferon and ribavirin, was partially effective, and had considerable side effects. With recent advances in the understanding of the HCV life cycle, the development of promising direct acting antivirals (DAAs) has been achieved. Their use in combination with the current treatment has led to encouraging results for HCV genotype 1 patients. However, this therapy is quite expensive and will probably not be accessible for all patients worldwide. For this reason, constant efforts are being made to identify new antiviral molecules. Recent reports about natural compounds highlight their antiviral activity against HCV. Here, we aim to review the natural molecules that interfere with the HCV life cycle and discuss their potential use in HCV therapy. PMID:23202460

  4. Systems Biology Approaches to Understand Natural Products Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Licona-Cassani, Cuauhtemoc; Cruz-Morales, Pablo; Manteca, Angel; Barona-Gomez, Francisco; Nielsen, Lars K.; Marcellin, Esteban

    2015-01-01

    Actinomycetes populate soils and aquatic sediments that impose biotic and abiotic challenges for their survival. As a result, actinomycetes metabolism and genomes have evolved to produce an overwhelming diversity of specialized molecules. Polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, post-translationally modified peptides, lactams, and terpenes are well-known bioactive natural products with enormous industrial potential. Accessing such biological diversity has proven difficult due to the complex regulation of cellular metabolism in actinomycetes and to the sparse knowledge of their physiology. The past decade, however, has seen the development of omics technologies that have significantly contributed to our better understanding of their biology. Key observations have contributed toward a shift in the exploitation of actinomycete’s biology, such as using their full genomic potential, activating entire pathways through key metabolic elicitors and pathway engineering to improve biosynthesis. Here, we review recent efforts devoted to achieving enhanced discovery, activation, and manipulation of natural product biosynthetic pathways in model actinomycetes using genome-scale biological datasets. PMID:26697425

  5. Stream Corridor Lowering for Servicing: Considerations and Approaches to Natural Channel Design in Southern Ontario, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villard, P. V.

    2009-05-01

    Although there are numerous approaches to natural channel design, all approaches generally advocate application of geomorphic principles to develop stable watercourses with improved habitat function. In southern Ontario, natural channel design approaches are increasingly utilized in stream corridor management. In numerous greenfield developments within southern Ontario, creek corridors are lowered and relocated to address potential hazards and facilitate development. These projects usually utilize natural channel design approaches. Although lowering for servicing can be a controversial technique, this approach has resulted in the maintenance of channels that may have previously been enclosed and lost. In the southern Ontario context mimicking natural corridor form and function is complicated by a surficial geology dominated by glacial sediments. Approaches to natural channel design have evolved over time to address this encumbrance. This presentation examines the geomorphology of streams and stream corridors within southern Ontario. Case studies from southern Ontario are provided to illustrate many of the impediments to, and innovations in, natural channel design. This lays the foundation for illustrating how these design approaches address potential hazards, provide for stream form and function, and mimic much of the physical and biological interactions found within natural stream corridors.

  6. Parents' Experiences of the Provision of Community-Based Family Support and Therapy Services Utilizing the Strengths Approach and Natural Learning Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carlson, Glenys; Armitstead, Clare; Rodger, Sylvia; Liddle, Gwen

    2010-01-01

    Background: In recent years, community based therapy service providers have explored different service delivery models to optimize child and family outcomes. This qualitative study aimed to explore parents' experiences of one particular service team that adopted a strengths approach, utilizing natural learning environments. Materials and methods:…

  7. Ion mobility spectrometry nuisance alarm threshold analysis for illicit narcotics based on environmental background and a ROC-curve approach.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Thomas P; Najarro, Marcela

    2016-07-21

    The discriminative potential of an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) for trace detection of illicit narcotics relative to environmental background was investigated with a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve framework. The IMS response of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and Δ(9)-tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC) was evaluated against environmental background levels derived from the screening of incoming delivery vehicles at a federal facility. Over 20 000 samples were collected over a multiyear period under two distinct sets of instrument operating conditions, a baseline mode and an increased desorption/drift tube temperature and sampling time mode. ROC curves provided a quantifiable representation of the interplay between sensitivity (true positive rate, TPR) and specificity (1 - false positive rate, FPR). A TPR of 90% and minimized FPR were targeted as the detection limits of IMS for the selected narcotics. MDMA, THC, and cocaine demonstrated single nanogram sensitivity at 90% TPR and <10% FPR, with improvements to both MDMA and cocaine in the elevated temperature/increased sampling mode. Detection limits in the tens of nanograms with poor specificity (FPR ≈ 20%) were observed for methamphetamine and heroin under baseline conditions. However, elevating the temperature reduced the background in the methamphetamine window, drastically improving its response (90% TPR and 3.8% FPR at 1 ng). On the contrary, the altered mode conditions increased the level of background for THC and heroin, partially offsetting observed enhancements to desorption. The presented framework demonstrated the significant effect environmental background distributions have on sensitivity and specificity. PMID:27206280

  8. Systematic approaches to comprehensive analyses of natural organic matter

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leenheer, Jerry A.

    2009-01-01

    The more that is learned of the chemistry of aquatic natural organic matter (NOM) the greater is the scientific appreciation of the vast complexity of this subject. This complexity is due not only to a multiplicity of precursor molecules in any environment but to their associations with each other and with other components of local environments such as clays, mineral acids and dissolved metals. In addition, this complex system is subject to constant change owing to environmental variables and microbial action. Thus, there is a good argument that no two NOM samples are exactly the same even from the same source at nearly the same time. When ubiquity of occurrence, reaction with water treatment chemicals, and subsequent human exposure are added to the list of NOM issues, one can understand the appeal that this subject holds for a wide variety of environmental scientists.

  9. Rill erosion in natural and disturbed forests: 2. Modeling Approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagenbrenner, J. W.; Robichaud, P. R.; Elliot, W. J.

    2010-10-01

    As forest management scenarios become more complex, the ability to more accurately predict erosion from those scenarios becomes more important. In this second part of a two-part study we report model parameters based on 66 simulated runoff experiments in two disturbed forests in the northwestern U.S. The 5 disturbance classes were natural, 10-month old and 2-week old low soil burn severity, high soil burn severity, and logging skid trails. In these environments the erosion rates were clearly detachment limited, and the rill erodibility parameters calculated from four hydraulic variables increased by orders of magnitude. The soil shear stress based erodibility parameter, Kr, was 1.5 × 10-6 s m-1in the natural plots, 2.0 × 10-4 s m-1 in the high soil burn severity plots, and 1.7 × 10-3 s m-1 in the skid trail plots; Kr values for the low soil burn severity plots had negative sign. The erodibility value for the skid trail plots fell within ranges reported for tilled agricultural fields and also for forest roads. The Kr values decreased as erosion occurred in the plots and therefore should not be a constant parameter. The stream power produced the largest R2 value (0.41) when hydraulic predictors and the sediment flux were log-transformed, but none of the four hydraulic variables (soil shear stress, stream power, unit stream power, and unit length shear force) explained much of the variability in sediment flux rates across the five levels of disturbance when evaluated in the linear form of the erosion models under consideration.

  10. Evaluation of natural language processing systems: Issues and approaches

    SciTech Connect

    Guida, G.; Mauri, G.

    1986-07-01

    This paper encompasses two main topics: a broad and general analysis of the issue of performance evaluation of NLP systems and a report on a specific approach developed by the authors and experimented on a sample test case. More precisely, it first presents a brief survey of the major works in the area of NLP systems evaluation. Then, after introducing the notion of the life cycle of an NLP system, it focuses on the concept of performance evaluation and analyzes the scope and the major problems of the investigation. The tools generally used within computer science to assess the quality of a software system are briefly reviewed, and their applicability to the task of evaluation of NLP systems is discussed. Particular attention is devoted to the concepts of efficiency, correctness, reliability, and adequacy, and how all of them basically fail in capturing the peculiar features of performance evaluation of an NLP system is discussed. Two main approaches to performance evaluation are later introduced; namely, black-box- and model-based, and their most important characteristics are presented. Finally, a specific model for performance evaluation proposed by the authors is illustrated, and the results of an experiment with a sample application are reported. The paper concludes with a discussion on research perspective, open problems, and importance of performance evaluation to industrial applications.

  11. COMPARISON OF NATURAL BACKGROUND DOSE RATES FOR RESIDENTS OF THE AMARGOSA VALLEY, NV, TO THOSE IN LEADVILLE, CO, AND THE STATES OF COLORADO AND NEVADA

    SciTech Connect

    D. Moeller and L. C. Sun

    2006-02-24

    In the latter half of 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published a Proposed Rule (40 CFR Part 197) for establishing a dose rate standard for limiting radionuclide releases from the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste repository during the time period from 10{sup 4} to 10{sup 6} years after closure. The proposed standard was based on the difference in the estimated total dose rate from natural background in the Amargosa Valley and the ''average annual background radiation'' for the State of Colorado. As defined by the USEPA, ''natural background radiation consists of external exposures from cosmic and terrestrial sources, and internal exposures from indoor exposures to naturally-occurring radon''. On the basis of its assessments, the USEPA estimated that the difference in the dose rate in the two identified areas was 3.5 mSv y{sup -1}. The purpose of this review was to provide an independent evaluation and review of this estimate. One of the first observations was that, because site-specific dose rate measurements for the Amargosa Valley ''were not available'', the dose rates for various sources of natural background in that area, used by the USEPA in its assessment, were based on modifications of the average values for the State of Nevada. A second observation was that the conversion factor applied in estimating the dose rates due to exposures to indoor radon and its decay products was a factor of 2 higher than the currently accepted value. Further review revealed that site-specific data for many natural background sources in the Amargosa Valley were available. One particularly important observation was that about 91% of the residents of that area live in mobile homes which, due to their construction and design, have indoor radon concentrations comparable to, or less than, those outdoors. For that reason, alone, the USEPA estimate of the average dose rate for residents of the Amargosa Valley, due to indoor radon, was not valid

  12. Five C Framework: A Student-Centered Approach for Teaching Programming Courses to Students with Diverse Disciplinary Background

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tom, Mary

    2015-01-01

    The already existing complexities of teaching and learning computer programming are increased where students are diverse in their disciplinary backgrounds, language skills, and culture. Learners experience emotional issues of anxiety, fear or boredom. Identifying opportunities for improvement and applying theoretical and empirical evidence found…

  13. A combined approach of Kullback-Leibler divergence and background subtraction for moving object detection in thermal video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, Dileep Kumar; Singh, Karan

    2016-05-01

    In this work, a robust method for moving object detection in thermal video frames has been proposed by including Kullback-Leibler divergence (KLD) based threshold and background subtraction (BGS) technique. A trimmed-mean based background model has been developed that is capable enough to reduce noise or dynamic component of the background. This work assumed that each pixel has normally distributed. The KLD has computed between background pixel and a current pixel with the help of Gaussian mixture model. The proposed threshold is useful enough to classify the state of each pixel. The post-processing step uses morphological tool for edge linking, and then the flood-fill algorithm has applied for hole-filling, and finally the silhouette of targeted object has generated. The proposed methods run faster and have validated over various real-time based problematic thermal video sequences. In the experimental results, the average value of F1-score, area under the curve, the percentage of correct classification, Matthew's correlation coefficient show higher values whereas total error and percentage of the wrong classification show minimum values. Moreover, the proposed-1 method achieved higher accuracy and execution speed with minimum false alarm rate that has been compared with proposed-2 as well as considered peer methods in the real-time thermal video.

  14. Introducing OVAL Writing: A New Approach to Chinese Character Retention for Secondary Non-Chinese-Speaking Background Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ren, Guanxin

    2004-01-01

    One of the difficulties secondary non-Chinese-speaking background (NCSB) learners are facing is to remember the characters learned in order to recall them when necessary. The traditional way of teaching secondary NCSB learners to remember Chinese characters is through mere repetition, e.g. writing out each single character by following its stroke…

  15. Examination of the Cross-Battery Approach for the Cognitive Assessment of Children and Youth from Diverse Linguistic and Cultural Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kranzler, John H.; Flores, Cindi G.; Coady, Maria

    2010-01-01

    Flanagan, Ortiz, and Alfonso (2007) recently developed the Culture-Language Interpretive Matrices (C-LIMs) for the cognitive assessment of children and youth from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. To examine the utility of this new approach, we administered the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities to a sample of students…

  16. Determination of environmental radioactivity (238U, 232Th and 40K) and indoor natural background radiation level in Chennai city (Tamilnadu State), India.

    PubMed

    Babai, K S; Poongothai, S; Punniyakotti, J

    2013-01-01

    An extensive study on the determination of the natural radioactivity ((238)U, (232)Th and (40)K) levels in soil samples of Chennai city, India has been undertaken and the results of the same are compared with the levels reported in other Indian cities as well as other parts of the world. The radioactivity content in the soil samples, the absorbed dose rate, annual effective dose equivalent, radium equivalent activity, internal and external hazard indices were calculated and compared with UNSCEAR 2000 recommended values. In addition to the above, mapping of indoor natural background gamma radiation levels has been made using thermo luminescent dosemeters throughout Chennai city and the same are reported. PMID:22847868

  17. Rethinking Natural Environment Practice: Implications from Examining Various Interpretations and Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chai, Angie Y.; Zhang, Chun; Bisberg, Marilyn

    2006-01-01

    Early intervention professionals have implemented natural environment practices for over a decade, despite the continued debate on how to interpret and implement this practice. This article reviews several theoretical frameworks for understanding natural environment practice, and also summarizes different approaches for implementation. The authors…

  18. Of the necessity of knowledge of the natural pedo-geochemical background content in the evaluation of the contamination of soils by trace elements.

    PubMed

    Baize, D; Sterckeman, T

    2001-01-01

    In order to evaluate the contamination of the Dornach (Switzerland) site within the framework of the CEEM-Soil project, each participating team was allowed to take a maximum of 15 samples. The French team's sampling was organized in such a way as to answer the following questions: (i) what is the natural concentration of the soils at this site (local pedo-geochemical background content)?; (ii) what are the levels of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn contamination of the soil?; (iii) what is the depth reached by the surface contamination that is derived from atmospheric fallout?; (iv) how is the contamination spread along the longest axis of the area under study? The relationships between total Fe and the trace metals have allowed local variations in the natural pedo-geochemical background content to be detected and thus permitted the anthropogenic contamination to be estimated. There would appear to be a low level of Pb contamination over all the site investigated (an increase of the order of 5-10 mg kg(-1) on the background level), limited to the surface humus-bearing layers. There is also a significant contamination by Cu over all of the site (an increase of the order of 30-40 mg kg(-1)). This contamination has remained in the surface horizons (0-20 cm). Very high Zn and Cd concentrations have been found in the four surface (0-4 cm) and deep horizons (15-70 cm) taken under the forest and very much lower values in the samples taken from cultivated soils. The most likely explanation is an unequal inheritance between the upper part of the site (wooded with thinner very clayey soils) and the lower cultivated part of the site (with thicker less clayey soils developed in a loamy material). For various reasons, it seems unlikely that a contamination of the wooded part should be so much higher than the cultivated part due to the interception of atmospheric dust by the trees. The local pedo-geochemical background Cd and Zn content of the upper wooded part proved to be clearly higher than

  19. Learning Nature of Science Concepts through a Research Apprenticeship Program: A Comparative Study of Three Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burgin, Stephen R.; Sadler, Troy D.

    2016-01-01

    The merits of three approaches (explicit, reflective and implicit) to Nature of Science (NOS) teaching and learning in the context of a summer research experience on high school student participants' NOS ideas were explored in this study. The effectiveness of explicit over implicit approaches has been demonstrated in school contexts, but less…

  20. How to Use Historical Approach to Teach Nature of Science in Chemistry Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tolvanen, Simo; Jansson, Jan; Vesterinen, Veli-Matti; Aksela, Maija

    2014-01-01

    Successful implementation of historical approach to teach nature of science (NOS) requires suitable curriculum material. Several research and development projects have produced lesson plans for science teachers. 25 lesson plans from four different projects involved in creating curriculum material utilizing historical approach in chemistry…

  1. Teaching Nature of Science to Pre-Service Early Childhood Teachers through an Explicit Reflective Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cil, Emine

    2014-01-01

    In this study, fifteen pre-service early childhood teachers' views of nature of science (NOS) were analysed. The student teachers took a course where NOS was taught via explicit reflective approach. The explicit reflective approach advocates that goal of improving students' NOS views should be planned for instead of being anticipated as…

  2. The Ecology of the Family. A Background Paper for a Family-Centered Approach to Education and Social Service Delivery.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Connard, Christie; Novick, Rebecca

    This paper synthesizes research, theories, and practical knowledge from developmental psychology and sociology to provide a basis for understanding, planning, and implementing effective and supportive partnerships between human-services providers and families. A family-centered approach is a process for delivering services to families, a…

  3. The inextricable axis of targeted diagnostic imaging and therapy: An immunological natural history approach.

    PubMed

    Cope, Frederick O; Abbruzzese, Bonnie; Sanders, James; Metz, Wendy; Sturms, Kristyn; Ralph, David; Blue, Michael; Zhang, Jane; Bracci, Paige; Bshara, Wiam; Behr, Spencer; Maurer, Toby; Williams, Kenneth; Walker, Joshua; Beverly, Allison; Blay, Brooke; Damughatla, Anirudh; Larsen, Mark; Mountain, Courtney; Neylon, Erin; Parcel, Kaeli; Raghuraman, Kapil; Ricks, Kevin; Rose, Lucas; Sivakumar, Akhilesh; Streck, Nicholas; Wang, Bryan; Wasco, Christopher; Williams, Amifred; McGrath, Michael

    2016-03-01

    In considering the challenges of approaches to clinical imaging, we are faced with choices that sometimes are impacted by rather dogmatic notions about what is a better or worse technology to achieve the most useful diagnostic image for the patient. For example, is PET or SPECT most useful in imaging any particular disease dissemination? The dictatorial approach would be to choose PET, all other matters being equal. But is such a totalitarian attitude toward imaging selection still valid? In the face of new receptor targeted SPECT agents one must consider the remarkable specificity and sensitivity of these agents. (99m)Tc-Tilmanocept is one of the newest of these agents, now approved for guiding sentinel node biopsy (SLNB) in several solid tumors. Tilmanocept has a Kd of 3×10(-11)M, and it specificity for the CD206 receptor is unlike any other agent to date. This coupled with a number of facts, that specific disease-associated macrophages express this receptor (100 to 150 thousand receptors), that the receptor has multiple binding sites for tilmanocept (>2 sites per receptor) and that these receptors are recycled every 15 min to bind more tilmanocept (acting as intracellular "drug compilers" of tilmanocept into non-degraded vesicles), gives serious pause as to how we select our approaches to diagnostic imaging. Clinically, the size of SLNs varies greatly, some, anatomically, below the machine resolution of SPECT. Yet, with tilmanocept targeting, the SLNs are highly visible with macrophages stably accruing adequate (99m)Tc-tilmanocept counting statistics, as high target-to-background ratios can compensate for spatial resolution blurring. Importantly, it may be targeted imaging agents per se, again such as tilmanocept, which may significantly shrink any perceived chasm between the imaging technologies and anchor the diagnostic considerations in the targeting and specificity of the agent rather than any lingering dogma about the hardware as the basis for imaging

  4. Microcomputer-Based Approaches for Preventing Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among Adolescents from Ethnic-Racial Minority Backgrounds

    PubMed Central

    Moncher, Michael S.; Parms, Clifford A.; Orlandi, Mario A.; Schinke, Steven P.; Miller, Samuel O.; Palleja, Josephine; Schinke, Mary B.

    2006-01-01

    This study was designed to empirically assess the potential of microcomputer-based intervention with black adolescents from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Subjects were 26, 11 through 14-year-old black females and males recruited from three boroughs in New York City. A sample task was administered via microcomputer system followed by a postintervention measurement battery. Observational measures were also employed to assess interactional variables. Subjects’ attitudes toward educational content in general, and toward drug and alcohol information delivery in particular, appeared to be a significant intervening variable that could alter the overall efficacy of computer-delivered interventions. Both observational and postintervention measures indicated an overall positive subject response to computer-administered instruction. In contrast, however, respondents indicated a negative response to microcomputer delivery of drug and alcohol related materials. Results of the experiment are discussed along with rationales and future research directions. PMID:17387376

  5. 'Natural background' soil water repellency in conifer forests of the north-western USA: Its prediction and relationship to wildfire occurrence

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doerr, S.H.; Woods, S.W.; Martin, D.A.; Casimiro, M.

    2009-01-01

    Soils under a wide range of vegetation types exhibit water repellency following the passage of a fire. This is viewed by many as one of the main causes for accelerated post-fire runoff and soil erosion and it has often been assumed that strong soil water repellency present after wildfire is fire-induced. However, high levels of repellency have also been reported under vegetation types not affected by fire, and the question arises to what degree the water repellency observed at burnt sites actually results from fire. This study aimed at determining 'natural background' water repellency in common coniferous forest types in the north-western USA. Mature or semi-mature coniferous forest sites (n = 81), which showed no evidence of recent fires and had at least some needle cast cover, were sampled across six states. After careful removal of litter and duff at each site, soil water repellency was examined in situ at the mineral soil surface using the Water Drop Penetration Time (WDPT) method for three sub-sites, followed by collecting near-surface mineral soil layer samples (0-3 cm depth). Following air-drying, samples were further analyzed for repellency using WDPT and contact angle (??sl) measurements. Amongst other variables examined were dominant tree type, ground vegetation, litter and duff layer depth, slope angle and aspect, elevation, geology, and soil texture, organic carbon content and pH. 'Natural background' water repellency (WDPT > 5 s) was detected in situ and on air-dry samples at 75% of all sites examined irrespective of dominant tree species (Pinus ponderosa, Pinus contorta, Picea engelmanii and Pseudotsuga menziesii). These findings demonstrate that the soil water repellency commonly observed in these forest types following burning is not necessarily the result of recent fire but can instead be a natural characteristic. The notion of a low background water repellency being typical for long-unburnt conifer forest soils of the north-western USA is

  6. A direct approach for instantaneous 3D density field reconstruction from background-oriented schlieren (BOS) measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolas, F.; Todoroff, V.; Plyer, A.; Le Besnerais, G.; Donjat, D.; Micheli, F.; Champagnat, F.; Cornic, P.; Le Sant, Y.

    2016-01-01

    We present a new numerical method for reconstruction of instantaneous density volume from 3D background-oriented schlieren (3DBOS) measurements, with a validation on a dedicated flexible experimental BOS bench. In contrast to previous works, we use a direct formulation where density is estimated from measured deviation fields without the intermediate step of density gradient reconstruction. Regularization techniques are implemented to deal with the ill-posed problem encountered. The resulting high-dimensional optimization is conducted by conjugate gradient techniques. A parallel algorithm, implemented on graphics processing unit, helps to speed up the calculation. The resulting software is validated on synthetic BOS images of a 3D density field issued from a numerical simulation. Then, we describe a dedicated 3DBOS experimental facility which has been built to study various BOS settings and to assess the performance of the proposed numerical reconstruction process. Results on various datasets illustrate the potential of the method for flow characterization and measurement in real-world conditions.

  7. Exploring the background features of acidic and basic air pollutants around an industrial complex using data mining approach.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ho-Wen; Tsai, Ching-Tsan; She, Chin-Wen; Lin, Yo-Chen; Chiang, Chow-Feng

    2010-11-01

    Air pollution data around a monitored site are normally difficult to analyze due to highly inter-related meteorological and topographical factors on top of many complicated atmospheric chemical interactions occurred in local and regional wind fields. The challenge prompts this study to develop a comprehensive data-mining algorithm of cluster analysis followed by meteorological and interspecies correlations to mitigate the inherent data complexity and dissimilarity. This study investigated the background features of acidic and basic air pollutants around a high-tech industrial park in Taiwan. Monthly samplings were taken at 10 sites around the park in a year. The temporal distribution plots show a baseline with two characteristic groups of high and low peaks. Hierarchical cluster analysis confirms that high peaks were primarily associated with low speed south wind in summer for all the chemical species, except for F(-), Cl(-), NH(3) and HF. Crosschecking with the topographical map identifies several major external sources in south and southwest. Further meteorological correlation suggests that HCl is highly positively associated with humidity, while Cl(-) is highly negatively associated with temperature, both for most stations. Interestingly, HNO(3) is highly negatively associated with wind speed for most stations and the hotspot was found in summer and around the foothill of Da-Tu Mountain in the northwest, a stagnant pocket on the study site. However, F(-) is highly positively associated with wind speed at downwind stations to the prevailing north wind in winter, indicating an internal source from the north. The presence of NH(4)(+) stimulates the formation of NO(3)(-), SO(4)(-2) (R=0.7), and HNO(3), H(2)SO(4), NH(3) (R=0.3-0.4). As H(2)SO(4) could be elevated to a level as high as 40% of the regulated standard, species interactions may be a dominate mechanism responsible for the substantial increase in summer from external sources. PMID:20825963

  8. Multi-Site Application of the Geomechanical Approach for Natural Fracture Exploration

    SciTech Connect

    R. L. Billingsley; V. Kuuskraa

    2006-03-31

    In order to predict the nature and distribution of natural fracturing, Advanced Resources Inc. (ARI) incorporated concepts of rock mechanics, geologic history, and local geology into a geomechanical approach for natural fracture prediction within mildly deformed, tight (low-permeability) gas reservoirs. Under the auspices of this project, ARI utilized and refined this approach in tight gas reservoir characterization and exploratory activities in three basins: the Piceance, Wind River and the Anadarko. The primary focus of this report is the knowledge gained on natural fractural prediction along with practical applications for enhancing gas recovery and commerciality. Of importance to tight formation gas production are two broad categories of natural fractures: (1) shear related natural fractures and (2) extensional (opening mode) natural fractures. While arising from different origins this natural fracture type differentiation based on morphology is sometimes inter related. Predicting fracture distribution successfully is largely a function of collecting and understanding the available relevant data in conjunction with a methodology appropriate to the fracture origin. Initially ARI envisioned the geomechanical approach to natural fracture prediction as the use of elastic rock mechanics methods to project the nature and distribution of natural fracturing within mildly deformed, tight (low permeability) gas reservoirs. Technical issues and inconsistencies during the project prompted re-evaluation of these initial assumptions. ARI's philosophy for the geomechanical tools was one of heuristic development through field site testing and iterative enhancements to make it a better tool. The technology and underlying concepts were refined considerably during the course of the project. As with any new tool, there was a substantial learning curve. Through a heuristic approach, addressing these discoveries with additional software and concepts resulted in a stronger set of

  9. Copy, edit, and paste: natural product approaches to biomaterials and neuroengineering.

    PubMed

    Gademann, Karl

    2015-03-17

    Progress in the chemical sciences has formed the world we live in, both on a macroscopic and on a nanoscopic scale. The last century witnessed the development of high performance materials that interact with humans on many layers, from clothing to construction, from media to medical devices. On a molecular level, natural products and their derivatives influence many biological processes, and these compounds have enormously contributed to the health and quality of living of humans. Although coatings of stone materials with oils or resins (containing natural products) have led to improved tools already millennia ago, in contrast today, natural product approaches to designer materials, that is, combining the best of both worlds, remain scarce. In this Account, we will summarize our recent research efforts directed to the generation of natural product functionalized materials, exploiting the strategy of "copy, edit, and paste with natural products". Natural products embody the wisdom of evolution, and only total synthesis is able to unlock the secrets enshrined in their molecular structure. We employ total synthesis ("copy") as a scientific approach to address problems related to molecular structure, the biosynthesis of natural products, and their bioactivity. Additionally, the fundamental desire to investigate the mechanism of action of natural products constitutes a key driver for scientific inquiry. In an emerging area of relevance to society, we have prepared natural products such as militarinone D that can stimulate neurite outgrowth and facilitate nerve regeneration. This knowledge obtained by synthetic organic chemistry on complex natural products can then be used to design structurally simplified compounds that retain the biological power of the parent natural product ("edit"). This process, sometimes referred to as function-oriented synthesis, allows obtaining derivatives with better properties, improving their chemical tractability and reducing the step count

  10. One-pot three-enzyme chemoenzymatic approach to the synthesis of sialosides containing natural and non-natural functionalities

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Hai; Chokhawala, Harshal; Huang, Shengshu; Chen, Xi

    2008-01-01

    Chemoenzymatic synthesis, which combines the flexibility of chemical synthesis and the highly selectivity of enzymatic synthesis, is a powerful approach to obtain complex carbohydrates. It is a preferred method for synthesizing sialic acid-containing structures, including those with diverse naturally occurring and non-natural sialic acid forms, different sialyl linkages, and different glycans that link to the sialic acid. Starting from N-acetylmannosamine, mannose, or their chemically or enzymatically modified derivatives, sialic acid aldolase-catalyzed condensation reaction leads to the formation of sialic acids and their derivatives. These compounds are subsequently activated by a CMP-sialic acid synthetase and transferred to a wide range of suitable acceptors by a suitable sialyltransferase for the formation of sialosides containing natural and non-natural functionalities. The three-enzyme coupled synthesis of sialosides can be carried out in one pot without the isolation of intermediates. The time for synthesis is 4–18 h. Purification and characterization of the product can be completed in 2–3 d. PMID:17406495

  11. Access to "Jiggasha program: a family planning communication approach" and its exposure to the selected background characteristics.

    PubMed

    Hossain, M W; Khan, H T; Begum, A

    1999-06-01

    This paper studies the effectiveness of "Jiggasha," an innovative communication approach for the promotion of family planning in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Data from the 1996 Jiggasha follow-up survey were used, which gathered information by interviewing a network sample of 1862 married women and a subsample of 608 men. The study used the sample constituted by women respondents and included data on socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of the respondents and their knowledge, attitude and practice relating to contraceptives. Findings showed that Jiggasha respondents have more access to radio than television. All respondents reported having a radio in their homes and they emphasized the importance of broadcasting more family planning messages via both electronic media. Only 16% of the women in the study setting were exposed to group meetings. Of the respondents reporting participation in group meetings, 38.25% joined in a Jiggasha meeting, 23.15% in a Grameen Bank group meeting, and 4.70% in a Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee group meeting. Logistic regression analysis indicated more access to Jiggashas among women over 30 years of age than among the younger age groups. Religion and education levels of respondents have significant impact on access to Jiggashas. Husbands' approval plays an important role among the Jiggasha respondents in using family planning method. This study provides important information for policy-makers to make family planning program a success. PMID:12179658

  12. Trace metal variability in coastal waters of San Jorge Bay, Antofagasta, Chile: An environmental evaluation and statistical approach to propose local background levels.

    PubMed

    Valdés, J; Román, D; Guiñez, M; Rivera, L; Ávila, J; Cortés, P; Castillo, A

    2015-11-15

    Between 2008 and 2011, twelve metals from 384 coastal waters samples from San Jorge Bay (Antofagasta, northern Chile) were collected and analyzed. The goal was to evaluate the quality of the bay's water bodies according to the current Chilean Quality Guideline and to establish background levels for these metals. The result suggests that the coastal waters of San Jorge Bay are of very good quality suitable for recreational activities involving human body contact. The natural background thresholds established for this bay were significantly lower than primary and secondary water quality guidelines. The distribution of Cu, Zn and Pb, along the bay's coastline provides evidence of the effects of industrial activity. Both situations suggest that the threshold indicated in the environmental guidelines of the Chilean legislation may be overestimated and do not represent pollution-free environments. PMID:26365501

  13. Paleolimnological approach to the separation of the effects of anthropogenic and natural factors on the lake ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapelko, Tatyana; Shemanaev, Kirill; Kuznetsov, Denis; Ignatieva, Natalia; Ludikova, Anna

    2013-04-01

    Studying the influence of anthropogenic factors on lakes ecosystem usually involves only the upper centimeters of lake sediments, accumulated over a short period of about 50 years. However, these "short cores", in fact, mostly cover only the industrial period (the period with significant human impact), leaving out the background conditions and the influence of the natural factors. Paleolimnological approach, i.e. obtaining data from the "long cores" (accumulated over millennia) allows us to trace average natural values of the studied parameters (the content of metals, phosphorus and organic matter) in the pre-industrial period (without human impact), as well as extreme natural values, such as those associated with climate change or changes in the lake level. The reasons of the extreme values we can explain by pollen, diatom and other analyses. The mathematical calculations based on the raw geochemical data from the continuous lake sediments ("long cores") were performed to evaluate the variation in the percentage ratio of natural and anthropogenic factors. The new method has already been tested on several lakes. In all lakes we studied the variations in the content of metals, phosphorus and organic matter in the long sediment cores. We also obtained results of lithological, palynological, diatom analyses. We defined the stages of lakes history and established chronological boundaries of these stages. With the mathematical method, we tried to calculate the percentage of anthropogenic probability impacts for each lake, based on primary sufficiently accurate comprehensive data from study of the continuous lake sediment cores during the Holocene.

  14. Affinity Crystallography: A New Approach to Extracting High-Affinity Enzyme Inhibitors from Natural Extracts.

    PubMed

    Aguda, Adeleke H; Lavallee, Vincent; Cheng, Ping; Bott, Tina M; Meimetis, Labros G; Law, Simon; Nguyen, Nham T; Williams, David E; Kaleta, Jadwiga; Villanueva, Ivan; Davies, Julian; Andersen, Raymond J; Brayer, Gary D; Brömme, Dieter

    2016-08-26

    Natural products are an important source of novel drug scaffolds. The highly variable and unpredictable timelines associated with isolating novel compounds and elucidating their structures have led to the demise of exploring natural product extract libraries in drug discovery programs. Here we introduce affinity crystallography as a new methodology that significantly shortens the time of the hit to active structure cycle in bioactive natural product discovery research. This affinity crystallography approach is illustrated by using semipure fractions of an actinomycetes culture extract to isolate and identify a cathepsin K inhibitor and to compare the outcome with the traditional assay-guided purification/structural analysis approach. The traditional approach resulted in the identification of the known inhibitor antipain (1) and its new but lower potency dehydration product 2, while the affinity crystallography approach led to the identification of a new high-affinity inhibitor named lichostatinal (3). The structure and potency of lichostatinal (3) was verified by total synthesis and kinetic characterization. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of isolating and characterizing a potent enzyme inhibitor from a partially purified crude natural product extract using a protein crystallographic approach. PMID:27498895

  15. S-matrix decomposition, natural reaction channels, and the quantum transition state approach to reactive scattering.

    PubMed

    Manthe, Uwe; Ellerbrock, Roman

    2016-05-28

    A new approach for the quantum-state resolved analysis of polyatomic reactions is introduced. Based on the singular value decomposition of the S-matrix, energy-dependent natural reaction channels and natural reaction probabilities are defined. It is shown that the natural reaction probabilities are equal to the eigenvalues of the reaction probability operator [U. Manthe and W. H. Miller, J. Chem. Phys. 99, 3411 (1993)]. Consequently, the natural reaction channels can be interpreted as uniquely defined pathways through the transition state of the reaction. The analysis can efficiently be combined with reactive scattering calculations based on the propagation of thermal flux eigenstates. In contrast to a decomposition based straightforwardly on thermal flux eigenstates, it does not depend on the choice of the dividing surface separating reactants from products. The new approach is illustrated studying a prototypical example, the H + CH4 → H2 + CH3 reaction. The natural reaction probabilities and the contributions of the different vibrational states of the methyl product to the natural reaction channels are calculated and discussed. The relation between the thermal flux eigenstates and the natural reaction channels is studied in detail. PMID:27250291

  16. S-matrix decomposition, natural reaction channels, and the quantum transition state approach to reactive scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manthe, Uwe; Ellerbrock, Roman

    2016-05-01

    A new approach for the quantum-state resolved analysis of polyatomic reactions is introduced. Based on the singular value decomposition of the S-matrix, energy-dependent natural reaction channels and natural reaction probabilities are defined. It is shown that the natural reaction probabilities are equal to the eigenvalues of the reaction probability operator [U. Manthe and W. H. Miller, J. Chem. Phys. 99, 3411 (1993)]. Consequently, the natural reaction channels can be interpreted as uniquely defined pathways through the transition state of the reaction. The analysis can efficiently be combined with reactive scattering calculations based on the propagation of thermal flux eigenstates. In contrast to a decomposition based straightforwardly on thermal flux eigenstates, it does not depend on the choice of the dividing surface separating reactants from products. The new approach is illustrated studying a prototypical example, the H + CH4 → H2 + CH3 reaction. The natural reaction probabilities and the contributions of the different vibrational states of the methyl product to the natural reaction channels are calculated and discussed. The relation between the thermal flux eigenstates and the natural reaction channels is studied in detail.

  17. Natural Resource Assessment: An Approach to Science Based Planning in National Parks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahan, Carolyn G.; Vanderhorst, James P.; Young, John A.

    2009-06-01

    We conducted a natural resource assessment at two national parks, New River Gorge National River and Shenandoah National Park, to help meet the goals of the Natural Resource Challenge—a program to help strengthen natural resource management at national parks. We met this challenge by synthesizing and interpreting natural resource information for planning purposes and we identified information gaps and natural significance of resources. We identified a variety of natural resources at both parks as being globally and/or nationally significant, including large expanses of unfragmented, mixed-mesophytic forests that qualify for wilderness protection, rare plant communities, diverse assemblages of neotropical migratory birds and salamanders, and outstanding aquatic recreational resources. In addition, these parks function, in part, as ecological reserves for plants in and wildlife. With these significant natural resources in mind, we also developed a suite of natural resource management recommendations in light of increasing threats from within and outside park boundaries. We hope that our approach can provide a blueprint for natural resource conservation at publically owned lands.

  18. Natural resource assessment: an approach to science based planning in national parks.

    PubMed

    Mahan, Carolyn G; Vanderhorst, James P; Young, John A

    2009-06-01

    We conducted a natural resource assessment at two national parks, New River Gorge National River and Shenandoah National Park, to help meet the goals of the Natural Resource Challenge--a program to help strengthen natural resource management at national parks. We met this challenge by synthesizing and interpreting natural resource information for planning purposes and we identified information gaps and natural significance of resources. We identified a variety of natural resources at both parks as being globally and/or nationally significant, including large expanses of unfragmented, mixed-mesophytic forests that qualify for wilderness protection, rare plant communities, diverse assemblages of neotropical migratory birds and salamanders, and outstanding aquatic recreational resources. In addition, these parks function, in part, as ecological reserves for plants in and wildlife. With these significant natural resources in mind, we also developed a suite of natural resource management recommendations in light of increasing threats from within and outside park boundaries. We hope that our approach can provide a blueprint for natural resource conservation at publically owned lands. PMID:19365671

  19. Estimation of the radiological background and dose assessment in areas with naturally occurring uranium geochemical anomalies--a case study in the Iberian Massif (Central Portugal).

    PubMed

    Pereira, A J S C; Neves, L J P F

    2012-10-01

    Naturally occurring uranium geochemical anomalies, representative of the several thousand recognized in the Portuguese section of the Iberian Massif and outcropping in three target areas with a total of a few thousand square metres, were subjected to a detailed study (1:1000 scale) to evaluate the radiological health-risk on the basis of a dose assessment. To reach this goal some radioactive isotopes from the uranium, thorium and potassium radioactive series were measured in 52 samples taken from different environmental compartments: soils, stream sediments, water, foodstuff (vegetables) and air; external radiation was also measured through a square grid of 10×10 m, with a total of 336 measurements. The results show that some radioisotopes have high activities in all the environmental compartments as well as a large variability, namely for those of the uranium decay chain, which is a common situation in the regional geological setting. Isotopic disequilibrium is also common and led to an enrichment of several isotopes in the different pathways, as is the case of (226)Ra; maximum values of 1.76 Bq L(-1) (water), 986 Bq kg(-1) (soils) and 18.9 Bq kg(-1) (in a turnip sample) were measured. On the basis of a realistic scenario combined with the experimental data, the effective dose from exposure to ionizing radiation for two groups of the population (rural and urban) was calculated; the effective dose is variable between 8.0 and 9.5 mSv year(-1), which is 3-4 times higher than the world average. Thus, the radiological health-risk for these populations could be significant and the studied uranium anomalies must be taken into account in the assessment of the geochemical background. The estimated effective dose can also be used as typical of the background of the Beiras uranium metalogenetic province and therefore as a "benchmark" in the remediation of the old uranium mining sites. PMID:22694913

  20. The Nature of Elementary Student Science Discourse in the Context of the Science Writing Heuristic Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cavagnetto, Andy; Hand, Brian M.; Norton-Meier, Lori

    2010-01-01

    This case study aimed to determine the nature of student interactions in small groups in an elementary classroom utilizing the Science Writing Heuristic approach. Fifth grade students were audio-recorded over four units of study while working in small groups to generate knowledge claims after conducting student-directed investigations. Analysis…

  1. Understanding Nature-Related Behaviors among Children through a Theory of Reasoned Action Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gotch, Chad; Hall, Troy

    2004-01-01

    The Theory of Reasoned Action has proven to be a valuable tool for predicting and understanding behavior and, as such, provides a potentially important basis for environmental education program design. This study used a Theory of Reasoned Action approach to examine a unique type of behavior (nature-related activities) and a unique population…

  2. A biosynthesis-inspired approach to over twenty diverse natural product-like scaffolds.

    PubMed

    Firth, James D; Craven, Philip G E; Lilburn, Matthew; Pahl, Axel; Marsden, Stephen P; Nelson, Adam

    2016-07-28

    A synthetic approach to diverse scaffolds was developed that was inspired by diterpene biosynthesis. Initial scaffolds, generated using Diels-Alder reactions of furyl-functionalised amines, were transformed into alternative scaffolds using cleavage, ring expansion, annulation and rearrangement reactions. In total, 25 diverse scaffolds were prepared that were shown to have high natural product-likeness. PMID:27424656

  3. A Time-Critical Adaptive Approach for Visualizing Natural Scenes on Different Devices

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Tianyang; Liu, Siyuan; Xia, Jiajia; Fan, Jing; Zhang, Ling

    2015-01-01

    To automatically adapt to various hardware and software environments on different devices, this paper presents a time-critical adaptive approach for visualizing natural scenes. In this method, a simplified expression of a tree model is used for different devices. The best rendering scheme is intelligently selected to generate a particular scene by estimating the rendering time of trees based on their visual importance. Therefore, this approach can ensure the reality of natural scenes while maintaining a constant frame rate for their interactive display. To verify its effectiveness and flexibility, this method is applied in different devices, such as a desktop computer, laptop, iPad and smart phone. Applications show that the method proposed in this paper can not only adapt to devices with different computing abilities and system resources very well but can also achieve rather good visual realism and a constant frame rate for natural scenes. PMID:25723177

  4. Energy Literacy: A Natural and Essential Part of a Solutions-Based Approach to Climate Literacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inman, M. M.

    2011-12-01

    As with climate science topics, many Americans have misconceptions or gaps in understanding related to energy topics. Recent literacy efforts are geared to address these gaps in understanding. The U.S. Global Change Research Program's recently published "Energy Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Energy Education" offers a welcome complement to the Climate Literacy Essential Principles released in 2008. Research and experience suggest that education, communication and outreach about global climate change and related topics is best done using a solutions-based approach. Energy is a natural and effective topic to frame these solutions around. Used as a framework for designing curricula, Energy Literacy naturally leads to solutions-based approaches to Climate Change education. An inherently interdisciplinary topic, energy education must happen in the context of both the natural and social sciences. The Energy Literacy Essential Principles reflect this and open the door to curriculum that integrates the two.

  5. How to value protection from natural hazards - a step-by-step discrete choice approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olschewski, R.

    2013-04-01

    In mountainous regions, forests play a crucial role in protecting the local population from natural hazards. In cases where existing forests are destroyed, e.g. by wind throws or diseases, the protection function has to be restored through technical measures. To determine the willingness to pay (WTP) for protection against avalanches, a choice experiment has been conducted and different experiment specifications have been tested to determine possible impacts on the results. The present study contributes to a comprehensive assessment of protection measures, and helps to identify efficient solutions based on the judgement of the people potentially endangered by natural hazards. The stepwise approach has the advantage to gradually check data fit, thereby didactically showing an operational way of dealing with different model specifications. The detailed case study can serve as a manual for conducting choice experiments with a similar focus and demonstrates the suitability and caveats of this approach to value protection from natural hazards in general.

  6. Environmental geochemistry of shale-hosted Ag-Pb-Zn massive sulfide deposits in northwest Alaska: Natural background concentrations of metals in water from mineralized areas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kelley, K.D.; Taylor, C.D.

    1997-01-01

    Red Dog, Lik and Drenchwater are shale-hosted stratiform Ag-Pb-Zn massive sulfide deposits in the northwestern Brooks Range. Natural background concentrations of metals in waters from the undisturbed (unmined) Drenchwater prospect and Lik deposit were compared to pre-mining baseline studies conducted at Red Dog. The primary factors affecting water chemistry are the extent of exposure of the deposits, the grade of mineralization, the presence of carbonate reeks in the section, and the proportion of Fe-sulfide in the ore. Surface water samples from the Drenchwater prospect, which has pyrite-dominant mineralization exposed in outcrop, have pH values as low as 2.8 and high dissolved concentrations of metals including as much as 95 mg 1-1 Al, 270 mg 1-1 Fe, 8 ??1-1 Cd, 10 ??1-1 Pb, and 2600 ??1-1 Zn, with As up to 26 ??g1-1. Surface waters from the Red Dog deposit prior to mining were also acidic and metal-rich, however, dissolved metal concentrations in Red Dog waters were many times greater. The higher metal concentrations in Red Dog waters reflect the high Zn grades and the abundant sphalerite, pyrite, and galena that were present in outcrop prior to mining. In contrast, despite significant mineralization at the Lik deposit, carbonate rocks in the section buffer the system, resulting in less acidic, mostly near-neutral pH values with low concentrations of most metals except Zn.

  7. Development and application of an ecosystem management approach for protected natural areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lajeunesse, Denyse; Domon, Gérald; Drapeau, Pierre; Cogliastro, Alain; Bouchard, André

    1995-07-01

    Preservation of small natural areas is not in itself a sufficient measure to maintain the integrity of the ecosystems for which they were initially set aside. Intense pressure from recreational use is just one of the many human-caused stresses that may degrade natural areas. Therefore, land-use planning and management from an ecological perspective is necessary to assess, ensure, and in some cases increase, the ecological integrity of protected natural areas. An ecosystem management approach for small protected natural areas with high recreational use is presented, based on three interrelated components: an ecological evaluation procedure of ecosystems, the implementation of management interventions on ecosystems, and the development of a monitoring scheme of ecosystem components. The ecological evaluation procedure combines two concepts: the biotic value of vegetation and wildlife and the abiotic fragility of the soils. This combined evaluation process results in the creation of a sensitivity map that can be used as a management tool for planners and managers. Management interventions, the second component of the management approach, are derived from concepts of ecological succession. Intentional human interventions are used to maintain the ecological integrity of ecosystems or in some cases to restore degraded sites. For the third component, only the basic principles of the monitoring program will be discussed. A pilot project in one of the Montreal urban community protected areas is presented to illustrate aspects of the proposed ecosystem management approach.

  8. Target identification of natural and traditional medicines with quantitative chemical proteomics approaches.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jigang; Gao, Liqian; Lee, Yew Mun; Kalesh, Karunakaran A; Ong, Yong Siang; Lim, Jaehong; Jee, Joo-Eun; Sun, Hongyan; Lee, Su Seong; Hua, Zi-Chun; Lin, Qingsong

    2016-06-01

    Natural and traditional medicines, being a great source of drugs and drug leads, have regained wide interests due to the limited success of high-throughput screening of compound libraries in the past few decades and the recent technology advancement. Many drugs/bioactive compounds exert their functions through interaction with their protein targets, with more and more drugs showing their ability to target multiple proteins, thus target identification has an important role in drug discovery and biomedical research fields. Identifying drug targets not only furthers the understanding of the mechanism of action (MOA) of a drug but also reveals its potential therapeutic applications and adverse side effects. Chemical proteomics makes use of affinity chromatography approaches coupled with mass spectrometry to systematically identify small molecule-protein interactions. Although traditional affinity-based chemical proteomics approaches have made great progress in the identification of cellular targets and elucidation of MOAs of many bioactive molecules, nonspecific binding remains a major issue which may reduce the accuracy of target identification and may hamper the drug development process. Recently, quantitative proteomics approaches, namely, metabolic labeling, chemical labeling, or label-free approaches, have been implemented in target identification to overcome such limitations. In this review, we will summarize and discuss the recent advances in the application of various quantitative chemical proteomics approaches for the identification of targets of natural and traditional medicines. PMID:26808165

  9. A Modeling Approach for Burn Scar Assessment Using Natural Features and Elastic Property

    SciTech Connect

    Tsap, L V; Zhang, Y; Goldgof, D B; Sarkar, S

    2004-04-02

    A modeling approach is presented for quantitative burn scar assessment. Emphases are given to: (1) constructing a finite element model from natural image features with an adaptive mesh, and (2) quantifying the Young's modulus of scars using the finite element model and the regularization method. A set of natural point features is extracted from the images of burn patients. A Delaunay triangle mesh is then generated that adapts to the point features. A 3D finite element model is built on top of the mesh with the aid of range images providing the depth information. The Young's modulus of scars is quantified with a simplified regularization functional, assuming that the knowledge of scar's geometry is available. The consistency between the Relative Elasticity Index and the physician's rating based on the Vancouver Scale (a relative scale used to rate burn scars) indicates that the proposed modeling approach has high potentials for image-based quantitative burn scar assessment.

  10. Omics and Environmental Science Genomic Approaches With Natural Fish Populations From Polluted Environments

    PubMed Central

    Bozinovic, Goran; Oleksiak, Marjorie F.

    2010-01-01

    Transcriptomics and population genomics are two complementary genomic approaches that can be used to gain insight into pollutant effects in natural populations. Transcriptomics identify altered gene expression pathways while population genomics approaches more directly target the causative genomic polymorphisms. Neither approach is restricted to a pre-determined set of genes or loci. Instead, both approaches allow a broad overview of genomic processes. Transcriptomics and population genomic approaches have been used to explore genomic responses in populations of fish from polluted environments and have identified sets of candidate genes and loci that appear biologically important in response to pollution. Often differences in gene expression or loci between polluted and reference populations are not conserved among polluted populations suggesting a biological complexity that we do not yet fully understand. As genomic approaches become less expensive with the advent of new sequencing and genotyping technologies, they will be more widely used in complimentary studies. However, while these genomic approaches are immensely powerful for identifying candidate gene and loci, the challenge of determining biological mechanisms that link genotypes and phenotypes remains. PMID:21072843

  11. Rapid, Long-term Monitoring of CO2 Concentration and δ13CO2 at CCUS Sites Allows Discrimination of Leakage Patterns from Natural Background Values

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galfond, B.; Riemer, D. D.; Swart, P. K.

    2014-12-01

    In order for Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) to gain wide acceptance as a method for mitigating atmospheric CO2 concentrations, schemes must be devised to ensure that potential leakage is detected. New regulations from the US Environmental Protection Agency require monitoring and accounting for Class VI injection wells, which will remain a barrier to wide scale CCUS deployment until effective and efficient monitoring techniques have been developed and proven. Monitoring near-surface CO2 at injection sites to ensure safety and operational success requires high temporal resolution CO2 concentration and carbon isotopic (δ13C) measurements. The only technologies currently capable of this rapid measurement of δ13C are optical techniques such as Cavity Ringdown Spectroscopy (CRDS). We have developed a comprehensive remote monitoring approach using CRDS and a custom manifold system to obtain accurate rapid measurements from a large sample area over an extended study period. Our modified Picarro G1101-i CRDS allows for automated rapid and continuous field measurement of δ13CO2 and concentrations of relevant gas species. At our field site, where preparations have been underway for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) operations, we have been able to measure biogenic effects on a diurnal scale, as well as variation due to precipitation and seasonality. Taking these background trends into account, our statistical treatment of real data has been used to improve signal-to-noise ratios by an order of magnitude over published models. Our system has proven field readiness for the monitoring of sites with even modest CO2 fluxes.

  12. Characterization and Monitoring of Natural Attenuation of Chlorinated Solvents in Ground Water: A Systems Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cutshall, N. H.; Gilmore, T.; Looney, B. B.; Vangelas, K. M.; Adams, K. M.; Sink, C. H.

    2006-05-01

    Like many US industries and businesses, the Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for remediation and restoration of soils and ground water contaminated with chlorinated ethenes. Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) is an attractive remediation approach and is probably the universal end-stage technology for removing such contamination. Since 2003 we have carried out a multifaceted program at the Savannah River Site designed to advance the state of the art for MNA of chlorinated ethenes in soils and groundwater. Three lines of effort were originally planned: 1) Improving the fundamental science for MNA, 2) Promoting better characterization and monitoring (CM) techniques, and 3) Advancing the regulatory aspects of MNA management. A fourth line, developing enhanced attenuation methods based on sustainable natural processes, was added in order to deal with sites where the initial natural attenuation capacity cannot offset contaminant loading rates. These four lines have been pursued in an integrated and mutually supportive fashion. Many DOE site-cleanup program managers view CM as major expenses, especially for natural attenuation where measuring attenuation is complex and the most critical attenuation mechanisms cannot be determined directly. We have reviewed new and developing approaches to CM for potential application in support of natural attenuation of chlorinated hydrocarbons in ground water at DOE sites (Gilmore, Tyler, et al., 2006 WSRC-TR- 2005-00199). Although our project is focused on chlorinated ethenes, many of the concepts and strategies are also applicable to a wider range of contaminants including radionuclides and metals. The greatest savings in CM are likely to come from new management approaches. New approaches can be based, for example, on conceptual models of attenuation capacity, the ability of a formation to reduce risks caused by contaminants. Using the mass balance concept as a guide, the integrated mass flux of contaminant is compared to

  13. An approach for detecting changes related to natural disasters using Synthetic Aperture Radar data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milisavljevic, N.; Closson, D.; Holecz, F.; Collivignarelli, F.; Pasquali, P.

    2015-04-01

    Land-cover changes occur naturally in a progressive and gradual way, but they may happen rapidly and abruptly sometimes. Very high resolution remote sensed data acquired at different time intervals can help in analyzing the rate of changes and the causal factors. In this paper, we present an approach for detecting changes related to disasters such as an earthquake and for mapping of the impact zones. The approach is based on the pieces of information coming from SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) and on their combination. The case study is the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The identification of damaged or destroyed buildings using SAR data is a challenging task. The approach proposed here consists in finding amplitude changes as well as coherence changes before and after the earthquake and then combining these changes in order to obtain richer and more robust information on the origin of various types of changes possibly induced by an earthquake. This approach does not need any specific knowledge source about the terrain, but if such sources are present, they can be easily integrated in the method as more specific descriptions of the possible classes. A special task in our approach is to develop a scheme that translates the obtained combinations of changes into ground information. Several algorithms are developed and validated using optical remote sensing images of the city two days after the earthquake, as well as our own ground-truth data. The obtained validation results show that the proposed approach is promising.

  14. Learning from nature – novel synthetic biology approaches for biomaterial design

    PubMed Central

    Bryksin, Anton V.; Brown, Ashley C.; Baksh, Michael M.; Finn, M.G.; Barker, Thomas H.

    2014-01-01

    Many biomaterials constructed today are complex chemical structures that incorporate biologically active components derived from nature, but the field can still be said to be in its infancy. The need for materials that bring sophisticated properties of structure, dynamics, and function to medical and non-medical applications will only grow. Increasing appreciation of the functionality of biological systems has caused biomaterials researchers to consider nature for design inspiration, and many examples exist of the use of biomolecular motifs. Yet, evolution, nature's only engine for the creation of new designs, has been largely ignored by the biomaterials community. Molecular evolution is an emerging tool that enables one to apply nature's engineering principles to non-natural situations using variation and selection. The purpose of this review is to highlight the most recent advances in the use of molecular evolution in synthetic biology applications for biomaterial engineering, and to discuss some of the areas in which this approach may be successfully applied in the future. PMID:24463066

  15. "Whoever Does Not Write Is Written": The Role of "Nature" in Post-Post Approaches to Environmental Education Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russell, Constance L.

    2005-01-01

    While McKenzie mentions in passing her concern about anthropocentrism and human oppression of the natural world, she is mostly silent about the role of "nature" in post-post approaches to environmental education research. If one takes feminist poststructuralist ideas about voice and representation seriously, surely the place of "nature" in…

  16. Drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy based on natural actor-critic approach.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Inkyung; Park, Jooyoung

    2011-11-01

    Recently, reinforcement learning methods have drawn significant interests in the area of artificial intelligence, and have been successfully applied to various decision-making problems. In this paper, we study the applicability of the NAC (natural actor-critic) approach, a state-of-the-art reinforcement learning method, to the drug scheduling of cancer chemotherapy for an ODE (ordinary differential equation)-based tumor growth model. ODE-based cancer dynamics modeling is an active research area, and many different mathematical models have been proposed. Among these, we use the model proposed by de Pillis and Radunskaya (2003), which considers the growth of tumor cells and their interaction with normal cells and immune cells. The NAC approach is applied to this ODE model with the goal of minimizing the tumor cell population and the drug amount while maintaining the adequate population levels of normal cells and immune cells. In the framework of the NAC approach, the drug dose is regarded as the control input, and the reward signal is defined as a function of the control input and the cell populations of tumor cells, normal cells, and immune cells. According to the control policy found by the NAC approach, effective drug scheduling in cancer chemotherapy for the considered scenarios has turned out to be close to the strategy of continuing drug injection from the beginning until an appropriate time. Also, simulation results showed that the NAC approach can yield better performance than conventional pulsed chemotherapy. PMID:21839140

  17. Development of Antiatherosclerotic Drugs on the basis of Natural Products Using Cell Model Approach

    PubMed Central

    Orekhov, Alexander N.; Sobenin, Igor A.; Revin, Victor V.; Bobryshev, Yuri V.

    2015-01-01

    Atherosclerosis including its subclinical form is one of the key medical and social problems. At present, there is no therapy available for widespread use against subclinical atherosclerosis. The use of synthetic drugs for the prevention of arteriosclerosis in its early stages is not sufficient because of the limited indications for severe side effects and high cost of treatment. Obviously, effective antiatherosclerotic drugs based on natural products would be a preferred alternative. Simple cell-based models for testing different natural products have been developed and the ability of natural products to prevent intracellular lipid accumulation in primary cell culture was evaluated. This approach utilizing cell models allowed to test effects of such direct antiatherosclerotic therapy, analyzing the effects mimicking those which can occur “at the level” of arterial wall via the inhibition of intracellular lipid deposition. The data from the carried out clinical trials support a point of view that the identification of antiatherosclerotic activity of natural products might offer a great opportunity for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic disease, reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. PMID:26347804

  18. An Amphibious Being: How Maritime Surveying Reshaped Darwin's Approach to Natural History.

    PubMed

    Sponsel, Alistair

    2016-06-01

    This essay argues that Charles Darwin's distinctive approach to studying distribution and diversity was shaped by his face-to-face interactions with maritime surveyors during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-1836). Introducing their hydrographic surveying methods into natural history enabled him to compare fossil and living marine organisms, to compare sedimentary rocks to present-day marine sediments, and to compare landscapes to submarine topology, thereby realizing Charles Lyell's fanciful ambition for a superior form of geology that might be practiced by an "amphibious being." Darwin's theories of continental uplift, coral reef formation, and the origin of species all depended on his amphibious natural history. This essay contributes to our understanding of theorizing in nineteenth-century natural history by illustrating that specific techniques of observing and collecting could themselves help to generate a particular theoretical orientation and, indeed, that such practical experiences were a more proximate source of Darwin's "Humboldtian" interest in distribution and diversity than Alexander von Humboldt's writings themselves. Darwin's debt to the hydrographers became obscured in two ways: through the "funneling" of credit produced by single-authorship publication in natural history and the "telescoping" of memory by which Darwin's new theories made him recall his former researches as though he had originally undertaken them for the very purpose of producing the later theory. PMID:27439285

  19. Ultrasensitive Negative Feedback Control: A Natural Approach for the Design of Synthetic Controllers.

    PubMed

    Montefusco, Francesco; Akman, Ozgur E; Soyer, Orkun S; Bates, Declan G

    2016-01-01

    Many of the most important potential applications of Synthetic Biology will require the ability to design and implement high performance feedback control systems that can accurately regulate the dynamics of multiple molecular species within the cell. Here, we argue that the use of design strategies based on combining ultrasensitive response dynamics with negative feedback represents a natural approach to this problem that fully exploits the strongly nonlinear nature of cellular information processing. We propose that such feedback mechanisms can explain the adaptive responses observed in one of the most widely studied biomolecular feedback systems-the yeast osmoregulatory response network. Based on our analysis of such system, we identify strong links with a well-known branch of mathematical systems theory from the field of Control Engineering, known as Sliding Mode Control. These insights allow us to develop design guidelines that can inform the construction of feedback controllers for synthetic biological systems. PMID:27537373

  20. Enzymatic approach in microbial-influenced corrosion: a review based on stainless steels in natural waters.

    PubMed

    Landoulsi, J; El Kirat, K; Richard, C; Féron, D; Pulvin, S

    2008-04-01

    The electrochemical behavior of stainless steels (SS) in natural waters is characterized by the ennoblement of their free corrosion potential (E(corr)). This phenomenon depends strongly on the settlement of biofilms on SS surfaces. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the biofilm action, in particular the enzymatic catalysis plays an important role by shifting the cathodic and/or anodic processes. However, there are still only few studies relating the use of purified enzymes. In contrast with bacteria-associated corrosion, the direct influence of enzymes is still poorly documented. The aim of this review is to show the benefits of the enzymatic approach in the study of biocorrosion. Indeed, enzymatic systems may constitute convenient models to mimic microbial influenced corrosion and to evaluate the behavior of metallic materials in natural waters. PMID:18504948

  1. Elucidating the Nature of Carbazole-Porphyrinoids with First-Principle Approaches.

    PubMed

    Azarias, Cloé; Jacquemin, Denis

    2016-05-12

    Carbazole-porphyrinoids are [20]porphyrins that can be oxidized to the so-called porphyrin state, inducing a huge shift of the main absorption band from the UV-visible to the infrared region. In this study, we focus on the compound synthesized by Arnold and co-workers [ Arnold , L. ; Baumgarten , M. ; Müllen , K. A. Chem. Commun. , 2012 , 48 , 9640 - 9642 ], where the two pyrroline units of a porphyrin are replaced with carbazole moieties. Due to the poor stability of these macrocycles, the nature of the oxidation product could not be definitively ascertained experimentally. In that framework, with the help of ab initio approaches, we investigate the structure, the stability, the aromaticity, and the spectroscopic signatures of both the nonoxidized compound and a series of possible oxidation products. Thanks to vibronic simulations, we obtain insights into the nature of the oxidized macrocycle. PMID:27076284

  2. Task 23 - background report on subsurface environmental issues relating to natural gas sweetening and dehydration operations. Topical report, February 1, 1994--February 28, 1996

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, J.A.

    1998-12-31

    This report describes information pertaining to environmental issues, toxicity, environmental transport, and fate of alkanolamines and glycols associated with natural gas sweetening and dehydration operations. Waste management associated with the operations is also discussed.

  3. Temporal naturalism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smolin, Lee

    2015-11-01

    Two people may claim both to be naturalists, but have divergent conceptions of basic elements of the natural world which lead them to mean different things when they talk about laws of nature, or states, or the role of mathematics in physics. These disagreements do not much affect the ordinary practice of science which is about small subsystems of the universe, described or explained against a background, idealized to be fixed. But these issues become crucial when we consider including the whole universe within our system, for then there is no fixed background to reference observables to. I argue here that the key issue responsible for divergent versions of naturalism and divergent approaches to cosmology is the conception of time. One version, which I call temporal naturalism, holds that time, in the sense of the succession of present moments, is real, and that laws of nature evolve in that time. This is contrasted with timeless naturalism, which holds that laws are immutable and the present moment and its passage are illusions. I argue that temporal naturalism is empirically more adequate than the alternatives, because it offers testable explanations for puzzles its rivals cannot address, and is likely a better basis for solving major puzzles that presently face cosmology and physics. This essay also addresses the problem of qualia and experience within naturalism and argues that only temporal naturalism can make a place for qualia as intrinsic qualities of matter.

  4. Human-Nature Interaction in the Eastern Pamirs of Tajikistan - Ecosystem services against the background of pasture use and energy consumption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanselow, K. A.; Samimi, C.; Kraudzun, T.; Kreutzmann, H.

    2012-04-01

    Mountains play an important role in the world's sustainable development. Despite the acquired knowledge about their importance the Global Environment Outlook 3 (UNEP 2002) states that most "mountain commons are ecologically under-managed and suffer from the classic 'commons syndrome': while all seek to benefit, stakeholders lack coordination, incentives and instruments for joint care." For the Eastern Pamirs, a dry (< 100 mm/a) and high (3,500-5,500 m asl) mountain plateau in the east of Tajikistan, grazing and fuel-wood are identified as key ecosystem services. Extensive pastoralism is a prime adapted land use strategy. Therefore, the Soviet administration allocated the production of meat on collective and state farms as the region's main task. Elaborate management plans, usually with four seasonal pasture camps, and additional imports of fuel and forage, led to a well-balanced utilization of all pastures. The dissolution of the USSR resulted in significant structural changes in the region. Most notably, the end of the subsidy system stopped the provisioning from outside. Without external inputs bridging long distances between the seasonal pastures poses a major problem to most smallholders. Furthermore, the limited supply and high cost of imported fossil fuels induced the increased use of dwarf shrubs as an energy resource. However, they are also important forage plants, particularly in winter. This study aims to provide a well-founded overview of the pasture and fuel-wood resources and the spatiotemporal variability of the actual pasture use with associated livestock numbers to make assertions on overuse in particular areas. Therefore, an interdisciplinary approach was used, combining geoecological and socio-economic methods. To assess the pasture potential information about land cover, phytomass availability, and forage quality were collected. Vegetation classes were modeled with a Random Forest (Breiman 2001), based on land cover information of 262 test plots

  5. A multi-disciplinary team approach to managing natural resource damages liability

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, T.A.

    1995-12-31

    In 1989, the Exxon-Valdez oil spill and its impacts to Prince William Sound aroused the nation`s concern about the natural resources. As a result, federal and state trustees have dramatically increased the attention and effort given natural resource damages (NRD) both from an ecological and liability perspective. NRD liability is a mixed bag of problems. Successful management of that liability requires consideration of scientific (i.e., biological, toxicological, etc.) economic, engineering, legal and policy issues. A logical solution to NRD liability ultimately requires an interactive multi-disciplinary team approach that factors in the perspective of each relevant disciplines. If any one of these disciplines is excluded, the solution is vulnerable to failure. For example, an attorney is taught to reach solutions based on legal considerations and concerns. An attorney does not think like an economist, biologists or engineer and, therefore, without input from all relevant disciplines the attorney will likely reach a valid legal conclusion which adequately addresses only one aspect of the NRD liability quagmire. Further, a PRP must be cognizant that NRD trustees, both federal and state, are with few exceptions considering the PRP`s NRD liability using all relevant disciplines. Therefore, environmental liability managers must use a multi-disciplinary team approach in order to ensure a logical, defendable mixed solution to a mixed bag of problems.

  6. Rational biosynthetic approaches for the production of new-to-nature compounds in fungi.

    PubMed

    Boecker, Simon; Zobel, Sophia; Meyer, Vera; Süssmuth, Roderich D

    2016-04-01

    Filamentous fungi have the ability to produce a wide range of secondary metabolites some of which are potent toxins whereas others are exploited as food additives or drugs. Fungal natural products still play an important role in the discovery of new chemical entities for potential use as pharmaceuticals. However, in most cases they cannot be directly used as drugs due to toxic side effects or suboptimal pharmacokinetics. To improve drug-like properties, including bioactivity and stability or to produce better precursors for semi-synthetic routes, one needs to generate non-natural derivatives from known fungal secondary metabolites. In this minireview, we describe past and recent biosynthetic approaches for the diversification of fungal natural products, covering examples from precursor-directed biosynthesis, mutasynthesis, metabolic engineering and biocombinatorial synthesis. To illustrate the current state-of-the-art, challenges and pitfalls, we lay particular emphasis on the class of fungal cyclodepsipeptides which have been studied longtime for product diversification and which are of pharmaceutical relevance as drugs. PMID:26872866

  7. "It sounds like...": A natural language processing approach to detecting counselor reflections in motivational interviewing.

    PubMed

    Can, Doğan; Marín, Rebeca A; Georgiou, Panayiotis G; Imel, Zac E; Atkins, David C; Narayanan, Shrikanth S

    2016-04-01

    The dissemination and evaluation of evidence-based behavioral treatments for substance abuse problems rely on the evaluation of counselor interventions. In Motivational Interviewing (MI), a treatment that directs the therapist to utilize a particular linguistic style, proficiency is assessed via behavioral coding-a time consuming, nontechnological approach. Natural language processing techniques have the potential to scale up the evaluation of behavioral treatments such as MI. We present a novel computational approach to assessing components of MI, focusing on 1 specific counselor behavior-reflections, which are believed to be a critical MI ingredient. Using 57 sessions from 3 MI clinical trials, we automatically detected counselor reflections in a maximum entropy Markov modeling framework using the raw linguistic data derived from session transcripts. We achieved 93% recall, 90% specificity, and 73% precision. Results provide insight into the linguistic information used by coders to make ratings and demonstrate the feasibility of new computational approaches to scaling up the evaluation of behavioral treatments. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:26784286

  8. How to Use Historical Approach to Teach Nature of Science in Chemistry Education?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tolvanen, Simo; Jansson, Jan; Vesterinen, Veli-Matti; Aksela, Maija

    2014-08-01

    Successful implementation of historical approach to teach nature of science (NOS) requires suitable curriculum material. Several research and development projects have produced lesson plans for science teachers. 25 lesson plans from four different projects involved in creating curriculum material utilizing historical approach in chemistry education were analyzed to describe NOS content included as well as the historical experiments and narratives used. Based on the results of descriptive content analysis of existing curriculum materials, several suggestions on the successful design of lesson plans utilizing historical approach are made. To increase the coherence and clarity of learning objectives and instruction, each lesson plan should focus on the limited amount of specific NOS issues instead of several overtly general NOS aspects. To support explicit classroom discussion on the selected NOS issues, historical narratives used in the lesson plans should illustrate these issues. The lesson plans should also include instructions on how to facilitate classroom discussion, such as questions for students to discuss and reflect. Recommendations are also made concerning the appropriate use of historical experiments and narrative elements such as viewpoint characters and conflicts.

  9. Human Amplified Natural Change: An approach for vulnerability assessment and mitigation planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcock, P.; Belmont, P.; Gran, K. B.

    2011-12-01

    Addressing the environmental impacts of agricultural development is made difficult by the scale and complexity of the natural system, the pervasive human alteration of that system, the contingent and nonlinear nature of system response, and the web of natural-human interactions driving social, economic, and regulatory decisions over periods of decades to centuries. One of the most difficult challenges is determining those locations within the landscape that are most sensitive to change. One approach is the concept of human-amplified natural change (HANC), a hypothesis that states that areas of the landscape that are most susceptible to human, climatic, and other external changes are those that are undergoing the highest rates of natural change. High variability in system response implies that there are locations and moments that are especially vulnerable to changes in climate and human actions. These 'critical areas' are not only essential to understand for mitigation purposes, but also serve as targeted locations in which to monitor change in an accelerated environment. Under the HANC hypothesis, it is these locations that should be the focus for both research and management. We explore the HANC hypothesis using the case of sediment delivery to the Upper Mississippi River. Work on Lake Pepin, a natural lake on the Mississippi River, has shown that sediment supply has increased ten-fold over the past 150 years. This period corresponds with widespread implementation of drainage and row cropping in the Minnesota River Basin, the primary contributor of sediment to the Upper Mississippi. Although this development is clearly important, the watershed was geologically primed to produce large amounts of sediment as it incises through soft glacial sediments in response to a base level fall associated with the carving of the Minnesota River valley over 13,000 years before present. The nearly complete transformation of the land surface, vegetation, and hydrology over the past

  10. A proteomics approach to decipher the molecular nature of planarian stem cells

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In recent years, planaria have emerged as an important model system for research into stem cells and regeneration. Attention is focused on their unique stem cells, the neoblasts, which can differentiate into any cell type present in the adult organism. Sequencing of the Schmidtea mediterranea genome and some expressed sequence tag projects have generated extensive data on the genetic profile of these cells. However, little information is available on their protein dynamics. Results We developed a proteomic strategy to identify neoblast-specific proteins. Here we describe the method and discuss the results in comparison to the genomic high-throughput analyses carried out in planaria and to proteomic studies using other stem cell systems. We also show functional data for some of the candidate genes selected in our proteomic approach. Conclusions We have developed an accurate and reliable mass-spectra-based proteomics approach to complement previous genomic studies and to further achieve a more accurate understanding and description of the molecular and cellular processes related to the neoblasts. PMID:21356107

  11. Multi-period natural gas market modeling Applications, stochastic extensions and solution approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Egging, Rudolf Gerardus

    This dissertation develops deterministic and stochastic multi-period mixed complementarity problems (MCP) for the global natural gas market, as well as solution approaches for large-scale stochastic MCP. The deterministic model is unique in the combination of the level of detail of the actors in the natural gas markets and the transport options, the detailed regional and global coverage, the multi-period approach with endogenous capacity expansions for transportation and storage infrastructure, the seasonal variation in demand and the representation of market power according to Nash-Cournot theory. The model is applied to several scenarios for the natural gas market that cover the formation of a cartel by the members of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, a low availability of unconventional gas in the United States, and cost reductions in long-distance gas transportation. 1 The results provide insights in how different regions are affected by various developments, in terms of production, consumption, traded volumes, prices and profits of market participants. The stochastic MCP is developed and applied to a global natural gas market problem with four scenarios for a time horizon until 2050 with nineteen regions and containing 78,768 variables. The scenarios vary in the possibility of a gas market cartel formation and varying depletion rates of gas reserves in the major gas importing regions. Outcomes for hedging decisions of market participants show some significant shifts in the timing and location of infrastructure investments, thereby affecting local market situations. A first application of Benders decomposition (BD) is presented to solve a large-scale stochastic MCP for the global gas market with many hundreds of first-stage capacity expansion variables and market players exerting various levels of market power. The largest problem solved successfully using BD contained 47,373 variables of which 763 first-stage variables, however using BD did not result in

  12. Risk Governance of Multiple Natural Hazards: Centralized versus Decentralized Approach in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komendantova, Nadejda; Scolobig, Anna; Vinchon, Charlotte

    2014-05-01

    The multi-risk approach is a relatively new field and its definition includes the need to consider multiple hazards and vulnerabilities in their interdependency (Selva, 2013) and the current multi-hazards disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe, showed the need for a multi-risk approach in hazard mitigation and management. Our knowledge about multi-risk assessment, including studies from different scientific disciplines and developed assessment tools, is constantly growing (White et al., 2001). However, the link between scientific knowledge, its implementation and the results in terms of improved governance and decision-making have gained significantly less attention (IRGC, 2005; Kappes et al., 2012), even though the interest to risk governance, in general, has increased significantly during the last years (Verweiy and Thompson, 2006). Therefore, the key research question is how risk assessment is implemented and what is the potential for the implementation of a multi-risk approach in different governance systems across Europe. More precisely, how do the characteristics of risk governance, such as the degree of centralization versus decentralization, influence the implementation of a multi-risk approach. The methodology of this research includes comparative case study analysis of top-down and bottom-up interactions in governance in the city of Naples, (Italy), where the institutional landscape is marked by significant autonomy of Italian regions in decision-making processes for assessing the majority of natural risks, excluding volcanic, and in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, an overseas department of France, where the decision-making process is marked by greater centralization in decision making associated with a well established state governance within regions, delegated to the prefect and decentralised services of central ministries. The research design included documentary analysis and extensive empirical work involving

  13. Habituation under natural conditions: model predators are distinguished by approach direction.

    PubMed

    Raderschall, Chloé A; Magrath, Robert D; Hemmi, Jan M

    2011-12-15

    Habituation is an active process that allows animals to learn to identify repeated, harmless events, and so could help individuals deal with the trade-off between reducing the risk of predation and minimizing escape costs. Safe habituation requires an accurate distinction between dangerous and harmless events, but in natural environments such an assessment is challenging because sensory information is often noisy and limited. What, then, comprises the information animals use to recognize objects that they have previously learned to be harmless? We tested whether the fiddler crab Uca vomeris distinguishes objects purely by their sensory signature or whether identification also involves more complex attributes such as the direction from which an object approaches. We found that crabs habituated their escape responses after repeated presentations of a dummy predator consistently approaching from the same compass direction. Females habituated both movement towards the burrow and descent into the burrow, whereas males only habituated descent into the burrow. The crabs were more likely to respond again when a physically identical dummy approached them from a new compass direction. The crabs distinguished between the two dummies even though both dummies were visible for the entire duration of the experiment and there was no difference in the timing of the dummies' movements. Thus, the position or approach direction of a dummy encodes important information that allows animals to identify an event and habituate to it. These results argue against the traditional notion that habituation is a simple, non-associative learning process, and instead suggest that habituation is very selective and uses information to distinguish between objects that is not available from the sensory signature of the object itself. PMID:22116764

  14. Integrative approach to delineate natural attenuation of chlorinated benzenes in anoxic aquifers.

    PubMed

    Stelzer, Nicole; Imfeld, Gwenaël; Thullner, Martin; Lehmann, Jürgen; Poser, Alexander; Richnow, Hans-H; Nijenhuis, Ivonne

    2009-06-01

    Biodegradation of chlorobenzenes was assessed at an anoxic aquifer by combining hydrogeochemistry and stable isotope analyses. In situ microcosm analysis evidenced microbial assimilation of chlorobenzene (MCB) derived carbon and laboratory investigations asserted mineralization of MCB at low rates. Sequential dehalogenation of chlorinated benzenes may affect the isotope signature of single chlorobenzene species due to simultaneous depletion and enrichment of (13)C, which complicates the evaluation of degradation. Therefore, the compound-specific isotope analysis was interpreted based on an isotope balance. The enrichment of the cumulative isotope composition of all chlorobenzenes indicated in situ biodegradation. Additionally, the relationship between hydrogeochemistry and degradation activity was investigated by principal component analysis underlining variable hydrogeochemical conditions associated with degradation activity at the plume scale. Although the complexity of the field site did not allow straightforward assessment of natural attenuation processes, the application of an integrative approach appeared relevant to characterize the in situ biodegradation potential. PMID:19250727

  15. Evolutionary genetics in wild primates: combining genetic approaches with field studies of natural populations

    PubMed Central

    Tung, Jenny; Alberts, Susan C; Wray, Gregory A

    2010-01-01

    Ecological and evolutionary studies of wild primates hold important keys to understanding both the shared characteristics of primate biology and the genetic and phenotypic differences that make specific lineages, including our own, unique. Although complementary genetic research on nonhuman primates has long been of interest, recent technological and methodological advances now enable functional and population genetic studies in an unprecedented manner. In the past several years, novel genetic data sets have revealed new information about the demographic history of primate populations and the genetics of adaptively important traits. In combination with the rich history of behavioral, ecological, and physiological work on natural primate populations, genetic approaches promise to provide a compelling picture of primate evolution in the past and in the present day. PMID:20580115

  16. The Effect of Explicit-Reflective and Historical Approach on Preservice Elementary Teachers' Views of Nature of Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pekbay, Canay; Yilmaz, Serkan

    2015-01-01

    This study aims to explore the influence of nature of science (NOS) activities based on explicit-reflective and historical approach on preservice elementary teachers' views of NOS aspects. Mixed-method approach including both qualitative and quantitative methods was used. The sample consisted of 83 preservice elementary teachers of a public…

  17. Natural Organic Matter Transport Modeling with a Continuous Time Random Walk Approach

    PubMed Central

    McInnis, Daniel P.; Bolster, Diogo; Maurice, Patricia A.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In transport experiments through columns packed with naturally Fe/Al oxide-coated quartz sand, breakthrough curves (BTCs) of natural organic matter (NOM) displayed strong and persistent power law tailing that could not be described by the classical advection–dispersion equation. Tailing was not observed in BTCs for a nonreactive tracer (sulforhodamine B); therefore, the anomalous transport is attributed to diverse adsorptive behavior of the polydisperse NOM sample rather than to physical heterogeneity of the porous medium. NOM BTC tailing became more pronounced with decreases in pH and increases in ionic strength, conditions previously shown to be associated with enhanced preferential adsorption of intermediate to high molecular weight NOM components. Drawing from previous work on anomalous solute transport, we develop an approach to model NOM transport within the framework of a continuous time random walk (CTRW) and show that under all conditions examined, the CTRW model is able to capture tailing of NOM BTCs by accounting for differences in transport rates of NOM fractions through a distribution of effective retardation factors. These results demonstrate the importance of considering effects of adsorptive fractionation on NOM mobility, and illustrate the ability of the CTRW model to describe transport of a multicomponent solute. PMID:24596449

  18. Structure elucidation and DNA binding specificity of natural compounds from Cassia siamea leaves: A biophysical approach.

    PubMed

    Parveen, Mehtab; Ahmad, Faheem; Malla, Ali Mohammed; Khan, Mohd Sohrab; Rehman, Sayeed Ur; Tabish, Mohammad; Silva, Manuela Ramos; Silva, P S Pereira

    2016-06-01

    A novel isoflavone, 5,6,7-trimethoxy-3-(3',4',5'-trimethoxyphenyl)-4H-chromen-4-one (1) along with a known pyranocoumarin, Seselin (2) have been isolated from the ethanolic extract of the leaves of Cassia siamea (Family: Fabaceae). Compound 1 has been reported for the first time from any natural source and has not been synthesized so far. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of chemical and physical evidences viz. elemental analysis, UV, FT-IR, (1)H-NMR, (13)C-NMR and mass spectral analysis. Structure of compound (1) was further authenticated by single-crystal X-ray analysis and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. A multi-technique approach employing UV-Visible spectroscopy, fluorescence, KI quenching studies, competitive displacement assay, circular dichroism and viscosity studies have been utilized to probe the extent of interaction and possible binding modes of isolated compounds (1-2) with calf thymus DNA (CT-DNA). Both the compounds were found to interact with DNA via non-intercalative binding mode with moderate proficiencies. Groove binding was the major interaction mode in the case of compound 2 while compound 1 probably interacts with DNA through electrostatic interactions. These studies provide deeper insight in understanding of DNA-drug (natural products) interaction which could be helpful to improve their bioavailability for therapeutic purposes. PMID:27085054

  19. Turn on the super-elastic collision nature of coronal mass ejections through low approaching speed.

    PubMed

    Shen, Fang; Wang, Yuming; Shen, Chenglong; Feng, Xueshang

    2016-01-01

    It has been proved from the observations and numerical simulations that the collision between solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs), the largest plasmoids in the heliosphere, could be super-elastic. This finding suggests that the CMEs' magnetic energy and thermal energy could be converted into kinetic energy through a more efficient way. However CME collisions are not always super-elastic, which means that this distinct property of plasmoids is probably excited conditionally. As the first attempt, we carry out a series of three-dimensional numerical experiments, and establish a diagram showing the dependence of the collision nature on the CME speed and k-number, the ratio of the CME's kinetic energy to the CME's total energy. It is found that the super-elastic nature of CMEs appears at the relatively low approaching speed, and most of the previous case studies are in agreement with this diagram. Our study firmly advances the understanding of the super-elastic property of plasmoids, and does give us new clues to deeply understand why and how the magnetic energy and/or thermal energy of the colliding plasmoids can be converted into kinetic energy in such an efficient way. PMID:26791543

  20. Turn on the super-elastic collision nature of coronal mass ejections through low approaching speed

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Fang; Wang, Yuming; Shen, Chenglong; Feng, Xueshang

    2016-01-01

    It has been proved from the observations and numerical simulations that the collision between solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs), the largest plasmoids in the heliosphere, could be super-elastic. This finding suggests that the CMEs’ magnetic energy and thermal energy could be converted into kinetic energy through a more efficient way. However CME collisions are not always super-elastic, which means that this distinct property of plasmoids is probably excited conditionally. As the first attempt, we carry out a series of three-dimensional numerical experiments, and establish a diagram showing the dependence of the collision nature on the CME speed and k-number, the ratio of the CME’s kinetic energy to the CME’s total energy. It is found that the super-elastic nature of CMEs appears at the relatively low approaching speed, and most of the previous case studies are in agreement with this diagram. Our study firmly advances the understanding of the super-elastic property of plasmoids, and does give us new clues to deeply understand why and how the magnetic energy and/or thermal energy of the colliding plasmoids can be converted into kinetic energy in such an efficient way. PMID:26791543

  1. Overview of the Enhanced Natural Gestures Instructional Approach and Illustration of Its Use with Three Students with Angelman Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calculator, Stephen; Diaz-Caneja Sela, Patricia

    2015-01-01

    Background: This investigation details procedures used to teach enhanced natural gestures (ENGs) and illustrates its use with three students with Angelman syndrome (AS). Materials and Methods: Themes were extracted, using a process of content analysis, to organize individuals' feedback pertaining to previous versions of the instructional…

  2. Resolving the chemical nature of nanodesigned silica surface obtained via a bottom-up approach.

    PubMed

    Rahma, Hakim; Buffeteau, Thierry; Belin, Colette; Le Bourdon, Gwenaëlle; Degueil, Marie; Bennetau, Bernard; Vellutini, Luc; Heuzé, Karine

    2013-08-14

    The covalent grafting on silica surfaces of a functional dendritic organosilane coupling agent inserted, in a long alkyl chain monolayer, is described. In this paper, we show that depending on experimental parameters, particularly the solvent, it is possible to obtain a nanodesigned surface via a bottom-up approach. Thus, we succeed in the formation of both homogeneous dense monolayer and a heterogeneous dense monolayer, the latter being characterized by a nanosized volcano-type pattern (4-6 nm of height, 100 nm of width, and around 3 volcanos/μm(2)) randomly distributed over the surface. The dendritic attribute of the grafted silylated coupling agent affords enough anchoring sites to immobilize covalently functional gold nanoparticles (GNPs), coated with amino PEG polymer to resolve the chemical nature of the surfaces and especially the volcano type nanopattern structures of the heterogeneous monolayer. Thus, the versatile surface chemistry developed herein is particularly challenging as the nanodesign is straightforward achieved in a bottom-up approach without any specific lithography device. PMID:23855987

  3. CHARACTERIZATION AND MONITORING OF NATURAL ATTENUATION OF CHLORINATED SOLVENTS IN GROUNDWATER: A SYSTEMS APPROACH

    SciTech Connect

    Looney, B; Michael Heitkamp, M; Gary Wein , G; Christopher Bagwell, C; Karen Vangelas, K; Karen-M Adams, K; Tyler Gilmore; Norman Cutshall; David Major; Mike Truex; Todd Wiedemeier; Francis H. Chapelle; Tom Early; Jody Waugh; David Peterson; Mark Ankeny; Claire H. Sink

    2006-08-10

    The objective of this document is to examine the use of a phased approach to characterizing and monitoring (C&M) natural attenuation processes and enhanced attenuation processes and to identify promising tools and techniques by which to accomplish the C&M. We will investigate developing techniques, such as molecular-based assessment tools, and existing tools that traditionally have not been used for monitoring the performance of environmental remediation technologies. Case studies will be used to provide examples of how non-traditional methods are being employed as characterization and monitoring tools to support MNA and EA. The document is not focused on a specific group of readers but rather is broadly directed with the intent that readers may gain information useful to their purposes. Thus, regulators may see some future characterization and monitoring techniques; end users may find novel ways to make MNA or EA more effective or efficient at their site; researchers may identify new areas for development or new and better combinations of existing methods. One consequence of this broad approach is that some readers may find certain sections either too rudimentary or too advanced for their needs. Hopefully, all will be able to use at least some of the document.

  4. Sensorimotor event: an approach to the dynamic, embodied, and embedded nature of sensorimotor cognition

    PubMed Central

    Vilarroya, Oscar

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, I explore the notion of sensorimotor event as the building block of sensorimotor cognition. A sensorimotor event is presented here as a neurally controlled event that recruits those processes and elements that are necessary to address the demands of the situation in which the individual is involved. The notion of sensorimotor event is intended to subsume the dynamic, embodied, and embedded nature of sensorimotor cognition, in agreement with the satisficing and bricoleur approach to sensorimotor cognition presented elsewhere (Vilarroya, 2012). In particular, the notion of sensorimotor event encompasses those relevant neural processes, but also those bodily and environmental elements, that are necessary to deal with the situation in which the individual is involved. This continuum of neural processes as well as bodily and environmental elements can be characterized, and this characterization is considered the basis for the identification of the particular sensorimotor event. Among other consequences, the notion of sensorimotor event suggests a different approach to the classical account of sensory-input mapping onto a motor output. Instead of characterizing how a neural system responds to an external input, the idea defended here is to characterize how system-in-an-environment responds to its antecedent situation. PMID:24427133

  5. Risk Governance of Multiple Natural Hazards: Centralized versus Decentralized Approach in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komendantova, Nadejda; Scolobig, Anna; Vinchon, Charlotte

    2014-05-01

    The multi-risk approach is a relatively new field and its definition includes the need to consider multiple hazards and vulnerabilities in their interdependency (Selva, 2013) and the current multi-hazards disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe, showed the need for a multi-risk approach in hazard mitigation and management. Our knowledge about multi-risk assessment, including studies from different scientific disciplines and developed assessment tools, is constantly growing (White et al., 2001). However, the link between scientific knowledge, its implementation and the results in terms of improved governance and decision-making have gained significantly less attention (IRGC, 2005; Kappes et al., 2012), even though the interest to risk governance, in general, has increased significantly during the last years (Verweiy and Thompson, 2006). Therefore, the key research question is how risk assessment is implemented and what is the potential for the implementation of a multi-risk approach in different governance systems across Europe. More precisely, how do the characteristics of risk governance, such as the degree of centralization versus decentralization, influence the implementation of a multi-risk approach. The methodology of this research includes comparative case study analysis of top-down and bottom-up interactions in governance in the city of Naples, (Italy), where the institutional landscape is marked by significant autonomy of Italian regions in decision-making processes for assessing the majority of natural risks, excluding volcanic, and in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, an overseas department of France, where the decision-making process is marked by greater centralization in decision making associated with a well established state governance within regions, delegated to the prefect and decentralised services of central ministries. The research design included documentary analysis and extensive empirical work involving

  6. Hanford Site background: Part 1, Soil background for nonradioactive analytes. Revision 1, Volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-04-01

    The determination of soil background is one of the most important activities supporting environmental restoration and waste management on the Hanford Site. Background compositions serve as the basis for identifying soil contamination, and also as a baseline in risk assessment processes used to determine soil cleanup and treatment levels. These uses of soil background require an understanding of the extent to which analytes of concern occur naturally in the soils. This report documents the results of sampling and analysis activities designed to characterize the composition of soil background at the Hanford Site, and to evaluate the feasibility for use as Sitewide background. The compositions of naturally occurring soils in the vadose Zone have been-determined for-nonradioactive inorganic and organic analytes and related physical properties. These results confirm that a Sitewide approach to the characterization of soil background is technically sound and is a viable alternative to the determination and use of numerous local or area backgrounds that yield inconsistent definitions of contamination. Sitewide soil background consists of several types of data and is appropriate for use in identifying contamination in all soils in the vadose zone on the Hanford Site. The natural concentrations of nearly every inorganic analyte extend to levels that exceed calculated health-based cleanup limits. The levels of most inorganic analytes, however, are well below these health-based limits. The highest measured background concentrations occur in three volumetrically minor soil types, the most important of which are topsoils adjacent to the Columbia River that are rich in organic carbon. No organic analyte levels above detection were found in any of the soil samples.

  7. Three approaches to investigating the multidimensional nature of a science assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gokiert, Rebecca Jayne

    The purpose of this study was to investigate a multi-method approach for collecting validity evidence about the underlying knowledge and skills measured by a large-scale science assessment. The three approaches included analysis of dimensionality, differential item functioning (DIF), and think-aloud interviews. The specific research questions addressed were: (1) Does the 4-factor model previously found by Hamilton et al. (1995) for the grade 8 sample explain the data? (2) Do the performances of male and female students systematically differ? Are these performance differences captured in the dimensions? (3) Can think-aloud reports aid in the generation of hypotheses about the underlying knowledge and skills that are measured by this test? A confirmatory factor analysis of the 4-factor model revealed good model data fit for both the AB and AC tests. Twenty-four of the 83 AB test items and 16 of the 77 AC test items displayed significant DIF, however, items were found, on average, to favour both males and females equally. There were some systematic differences found across the 4-factors; items favouring males tended to be related to earth and space sciences, stereotypical male related activities, and numerical operations. Conversely, females were found to outperform males on items that required careful reading and attention to detail. Concurrent and retrospective verbal reports (Ericsson & Simon, 1993) were collected from 16 grade 8 students (9 male and 7 female) while they solved 12 DIF items. Four general cognitive processing themes were identified from the student protocols that could be used to explain male and female problem solving. The themes included comprehension (verbal and visual), visualization, background knowledge/experience (school or life), and strategy use. There were systematic differences in cognitive processing between the students that answered the items correctly and the students who answered the items incorrectly; however, this did not always

  8. A global approach to analysis and interpretation of metabolic data for plant natural product discovery†

    PubMed Central

    Hur, Manhoi; Campbell, Alexis Ann; Almeida-de-Macedo, Marcia; Li, Ling; Ransom, Nick; Jose, Adarsh; Crispin, Matt; Nikolau, Basil J.

    2013-01-01

    Discovering molecular components and their functionality is key to the development of hypotheses concerning the organization and regulation of metabolic networks. The iterative experimental testing of such hypotheses is the trajectory that can ultimately enable accurate computational modelling and prediction of metabolic outcomes. This information can be particularly important for understanding the biology of natural products, whose metabolism itself is often only poorly defined. Here, we describe factors that must be in place to optimize the use of metabolomics in predictive biology. A key to achieving this vision is a collection of accurate time-resolved and spatially defined metabolite abundance data and associated metadata. One formidable challenge associated with metabolite profiling is the complexity and analytical limits associated with comprehensively determining the metabolome of an organism. Further, for metabolomics data to be efficiently used by the research community, it must be curated in publically available metabolomics databases. Such databases require clear, consistent formats, easy access to data and metadata, data download, and accessible computational tools to integrate genome system-scale datasets. Although transcriptomics and proteomics integrate the linear predictive power of the genome, the metabolome represents the nonlinear, final biochemical products of the genome, which results from the intricate system(s) that regulate genome expression. For example, the relationship of metabolomics data to the metabolic network is confounded by redundant connections between metabolites and gene-products. However, connections among metabolites are predictable through the rules of chemistry. Therefore, enhancing the ability to integrate the metabolome with anchor-points in the transcriptome and proteome will enhance the predictive power of genomics data. We detail a public database repository for metabolomics, tools and approaches for statistical

  9. A holistic approach to study the effects of natural antioxidants on inflammation and liver cancer.

    PubMed

    Costantini, Susan; Colonna, Giovanni; Castello, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    The limited effectiveness of chemotherapy and the high recurrence rate of cancers highlight the urgent need to identify new molecular targets and to develop new treatments. Numerous epidemiological studies have recently highlighted the existence of an inverse association between fruit and vegetable consumption, natural antioxidants, and cancer risk; in fact, antioxidant intake through diet or supplements of plant origin is strongly recommended for cancer prevention and cure. In general, antioxidants are substances of vegetable, mineral, or animal origin that neutralize free radicals and protect the body from their negative actions on the plasma membrane, proteins, and DNA. Hence, cancer can be prevented by the stimulation of the immune system to destroy cancer cells or to block their proliferation. Since living organisms may be studied as a whole complex system by the "omics sciences" which tend toward understanding and describing the global information of genes, mRNA, proteins, and metabolites, our aim is to use bioinformatics and systems biology to study cytokinome, which plays an important role in the evolution of inflammatory processes and is also a key component in the evolution of cancer, a disease recognized as depending on chronic inflammation and also with the concomitant presence of type 2 diabetes and obesity. On the whole, we define cytokinome as the totality of these proteins and their interactions in and around biological cells. Understanding the complex interaction network of cytokines in patients affected by cancers should be very useful both to follow the evolution of cancer from its early stages and to define innovative therapeutic strategies by using systems biology approaches. In this paper, we review some results of our group in the light of the "omics" logic, and in particular (1) the need for a global approach to study complex systems such as multifactorial cancer and, in particular, hepatocellular carcinoma, (2) the correlation between

  10. Nonthermal cosmic neutrino background

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Mu-Chun; Ratz, Michael; Trautner, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    We point out that, for Dirac neutrinos, in addition to the standard thermal cosmic neutrino background (C ν B ), there could also exist a nonthermal neutrino background with comparable number density. As the right-handed components are essentially decoupled from the thermal bath of standard model particles, relic neutrinos with a nonthermal distribution may exist until today. The relic density of the nonthermal (nt) background can be constrained by the usual observational bounds on the effective number of massless degrees of freedom Neff and can be as large as nν nt≲0.5 nγ. In particular, Neff can be larger than 3.046 in the absence of any exotic states. Nonthermal relic neutrinos constitute an irreducible contribution to the detection of the C ν B and, hence, may be discovered by future experiments such as PTOLEMY. We also present a scenario of chaotic inflation in which a nonthermal background can naturally be generated by inflationary preheating. The nonthermal relic neutrinos, thus, may constitute a novel window into the very early Universe.

  11. A novel approach to characterization of effective permeability for naturally fractured reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jin, G.

    2013-12-01

    Fractured formations have been the important targets for hydrocarbon exploration, groundwater supply, geothermal heat storage exploitation, and storage for sequestrated carbon dioxide, etc. However, accurate modeling of effective permeability of fractured reservoir has been a challenging task because the presence of fracture network may significantly alter the reservoir hydrologic properties in that interconnected fractures can enhance the reservoir heterogeneity in several orders of magnitude. Previous fractured simulation models can be divided into continuum and discrete fracture network (DFN) approaches. In the continuum approaches such as dual porosity/permeability model, fractures are assumed to be infinitely long and distributed in a regular pattern which resulted in the ignorance of actual fracture geometry. The discrete fracture model considers fracture dimension and transmissivity of each individual fracture but has an inherent disadvantage of its high computation-intensive nature and extreme difficulty in domain discretization, which severely limit its practical applications to problems with hundreds of thousands of fractures. In this paper we proposed a new approach to calculate the effective permeability for fractured network which integrates the DFN method while still honoring the geometrical pattern of each individual fracture. A full permeability matrix for each fracture is expressed as a second rank tensor composed of three parts: a unit permeability matrix defined by fracture orientation, a scalar absolute permeability from fracture aperture based on cubic law, and a shape factor defined by fracture size. The equivalent element permeability of a cell in a model is the component-wise aggregations of the permeability tensors from each interconnected fracture within that cell. This process is repeated for every cell in the entire model domain once a DFN model is generated based on the actual fracture statistics from field investigations, core

  12. Integrated Metabolomics Approach Facilitates Discovery of an Unpredicted Natural Product Suite from Streptomyces coelicolor M145

    PubMed Central

    Sidebottom, Ashley M.; Johnson, Andrew R.; Karty, Jonathan A.; Trader, Darci J.; Carlson, Erin E.

    2013-01-01

    Natural products exhibit a broad range of biological properties and have been a crucial source of therapeutic agents and novel scaffolds. Although bacterial secondary metabolomes are widely explored, they remain incompletely cataloged by current isolation and characterization strategies. To identify metabolites residing in unexplored chemical space, we have developed an integrated discovery approach that combines bacterial growth perturbation, accurate mass spectrometry, comparative mass spectra data analysis, and fragmentation spectra clustering for the identification of low-abundant, novel compounds from complex biological matrices. In this investigation, we analyzed the secreted metabolome of the extensively studied Actinomycete, Streptomyces coelicolor M145, and discovered a low-abundant suite of 15 tri-hydroxamate, amphiphilic siderophores. Compounds in this class have primarily been observed in marine microorganisms making their detection in the soil-dwelling S. coelicolor M145 significant. At least ten of these ferrioxamine-based molecules are not known to be produced by any organism and none have previously been detected from S. coelicolor M145. In addition, we confirmed the production of ferrioxamine D1, a relatively hydrophilic family member that has not been shown to be biosynthesized by this organism. The identified molecules are part of only a small list of secondary metabolites that have been discovered since sequencing of S. coelicolor M145 revealed that it possessed numerous putative secondary metabolite-producing gene clusters with no known metabolites. Thus, the identified siderophores represent the unexplored metabolic potential of both well-studied and new organisms that could be uncovered with our sensitive and robust approach. PMID:23777274

  13. Natural Killer Cells and Neuroblastoma: Tumor Recognition, Escape Mechanisms, and Possible Novel Immunotherapeutic Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Bottino, Cristina; Dondero, Alessandra; Bellora, Francesca; Moretta, Lorenzo; Locatelli, Franco; Pistoia, Vito; Moretta, Alessandro; Castriconi, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extra-cranial solid tumor of childhood and arises from developing sympathetic nervous system. Most primary tumors localize in the abdomen, the adrenal gland, or lumbar sympathetic ganglia. Amplification in tumor cells of MYCN, the major oncogenic driver, patients’ age over 18 months, and the presence at diagnosis of a metastatic disease (stage IV, M) identify NB at high risk of treatment failure. Conventional therapies did not significantly improve the overall survival of these patients. Moreover, the limited landscape of somatic mutations detected in NB is hampering the development of novel pharmacological approaches. Major efforts aim to identify novel NB-associated surface molecules that activate immune responses and/or direct drugs to tumor cells and tumor-associated vessels. PVR (Poliovirus Receptor) and B7-H3 are promising targets, since they are expressed by most high-risk NB, are upregulated in tumor vasculature and are essential for tumor survival/invasiveness. PVR is a ligand of DNAM-1 activating receptor that triggers the cytolytic activity of natural killer (NK) cells against NB. In animal models, targeting of PVR with an attenuated oncolytic poliovirus induced tumor regression and elimination. Also B7-H3 was successfully targeted in preclinical studies and is now being tested in phase I/II clinical trials. B7-H3 down-regulates NK cytotoxicity, providing NB with a mechanism of escape from immune response. The immunosuppressive potential of NB can be enhanced by the release of soluble factors that impair NK cell function and/or recruitment. Among these, TGF-β1 modulates the cytotoxicity receptors and the chemokine receptor repertoire of NK cells. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the main cell surface molecules and soluble mediators that modulate the function of NK cells in NB, considering the pros and cons that must be taken into account in the design of novel NK cell-based immunotherapeutic

  14. Natural killer cells and neuroblastoma: tumor recognition, escape mechanisms, and possible novel immunotherapeutic approaches.

    PubMed

    Bottino, Cristina; Dondero, Alessandra; Bellora, Francesca; Moretta, Lorenzo; Locatelli, Franco; Pistoia, Vito; Moretta, Alessandro; Castriconi, Roberta

    2014-01-01

    Neuroblastoma (NB) is the most common extra-cranial solid tumor of childhood and arises from developing sympathetic nervous system. Most primary tumors localize in the abdomen, the adrenal gland, or lumbar sympathetic ganglia. Amplification in tumor cells of MYCN, the major oncogenic driver, patients' age over 18 months, and the presence at diagnosis of a metastatic disease (stage IV, M) identify NB at high risk of treatment failure. Conventional therapies did not significantly improve the overall survival of these patients. Moreover, the limited landscape of somatic mutations detected in NB is hampering the development of novel pharmacological approaches. Major efforts aim to identify novel NB-associated surface molecules that activate immune responses and/or direct drugs to tumor cells and tumor-associated vessels. PVR (Poliovirus Receptor) and B7-H3 are promising targets, since they are expressed by most high-risk NB, are upregulated in tumor vasculature and are essential for tumor survival/invasiveness. PVR is a ligand of DNAM-1 activating receptor that triggers the cytolytic activity of natural killer (NK) cells against NB. In animal models, targeting of PVR with an attenuated oncolytic poliovirus induced tumor regression and elimination. Also B7-H3 was successfully targeted in preclinical studies and is now being tested in phase I/II clinical trials. B7-H3 down-regulates NK cytotoxicity, providing NB with a mechanism of escape from immune response. The immunosuppressive potential of NB can be enhanced by the release of soluble factors that impair NK cell function and/or recruitment. Among these, TGF-β1 modulates the cytotoxicity receptors and the chemokine receptor repertoire of NK cells. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the main cell surface molecules and soluble mediators that modulate the function of NK cells in NB, considering the pros and cons that must be taken into account in the design of novel NK cell-based immunotherapeutic approaches

  15. Uncovering the Wave Nature of the EIT Wave for the 2010 January 17 Event through Its Correlation to the Background Magnetosonic Speed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, X. H.; Wu, S. T.; Wang, A. H.; Vourlidas, A.; Feng, X. S.; Jiang, C. W.

    2011-12-01

    An EIT wave, which typically appears as a diffuse brightening that propagates across the solar disk, is one of the major discoveries of the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. However, the physical nature of the so-called EIT wave continues to be debated. In order to understand the relationship between an EIT wave and its associated coronal wave front, we investigate the morphology and kinematics of the coronal mass ejection (CME)-EIT wave event that occurred on 2010 January 17. Using the observations of the SECCHI EUVI, COR1, and COR2 instruments on board the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observation-B, we track the shape and movements of the CME fronts along different radial directions to a distance of about 15 solar radii (Rs ); for the EIT wave, we determine the propagation of the wave front on the solar surface along different propagating paths. The relation between the EIT wave speed, the CME speed, and the local fast-mode characteristic speed is also investigated. Our results demonstrate that the propagation of the CME front is much faster than that of the EIT wave on the solar surface, and that both the CME front and the EIT wave propagate faster than the fast-mode speed in their local environments. Specifically, we show a significant positive correlation between the EIT wave speed and the local fast-mode wave speed in the propagation paths of the EIT wave. Our findings support that the EIT wave under study is a fast-mode magnetohydrodynamic wave.

  16. UNCOVERING THE WAVE NATURE OF THE EIT WAVE FOR THE 2010 JANUARY 17 EVENT THROUGH ITS CORRELATION TO THE BACKGROUND MAGNETOSONIC SPEED

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, X. H.; Feng, X. S.; Jiang, C. W.; Wu, S. T.; Wang, A. H.; Vourlidas, A. E-mail: wus@uah.edu

    2011-12-01

    An EIT wave, which typically appears as a diffuse brightening that propagates across the solar disk, is one of the major discoveries of the Extreme ultraviolet Imaging Telescope on board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory. However, the physical nature of the so-called EIT wave continues to be debated. In order to understand the relationship between an EIT wave and its associated coronal wave front, we investigate the morphology and kinematics of the coronal mass ejection (CME)-EIT wave event that occurred on 2010 January 17. Using the observations of the SECCHI EUVI, COR1, and COR2 instruments on board the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observation-B, we track the shape and movements of the CME fronts along different radial directions to a distance of about 15 solar radii (R{sub s} ); for the EIT wave, we determine the propagation of the wave front on the solar surface along different propagating paths. The relation between the EIT wave speed, the CME speed, and the local fast-mode characteristic speed is also investigated. Our results demonstrate that the propagation of the CME front is much faster than that of the EIT wave on the solar surface, and that both the CME front and the EIT wave propagate faster than the fast-mode speed in their local environments. Specifically, we show a significant positive correlation between the EIT wave speed and the local fast-mode wave speed in the propagation paths of the EIT wave. Our findings support that the EIT wave under study is a fast-mode magnetohydrodynamic wave.

  17. The application of computational fluid dynamics to natural river channels: Eddy resolving versus mean flow approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keylock, C. J.; Constantinescu, G.; Hardy, R. J.

    2012-12-01

    In the last decade, as computing power has increased, there has been an explosion in the use of eddy-resolving numerical methods in the engineering, earth and environmental sciences. For complex geomorphic flows, where accurate field investigations are difficult to perform and where experiments may be difficult to scale, these numerical approaches are beginning to give key insights into the nature of these flows. Eddy-resolving methods such as Large and Detached Eddy Simulation (LES/DES) may be contrasted with the time-averaged, three-dimensional simulations that only really began to be applied seriously in geomorphology fifteen years ago. While the potential of LES for geomorphology has been examined previously, DES is a relatively recent method that deserves further consideration. In this paper, we explain the method and then utilise examples from meander and confluence flows, as well as flow near the bed of a gravel bed river, to highlight the improvements to both the representation of the mean flow, and to the representation of time-varying processes, that result from the use of LES/DES. Some suggestions are provided for the future use of such techniques in geomorphology.

  18. Theoretical simulations on the antioxidant mechanism of naturally occurring flavonoid: A DFT approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Praveena, R.; Sadasivam, K.

    2016-05-01

    Synthetic antioxidants such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are found to be toxic, hence non-carcinogenic naturally occurring radical scavengers especially flavonoids have gained considerable importance in the past two decades. In the present investigation, the radical scavenging activity of C-glycosyl flavonoids is evaluated using theoretical approach which could broaden its scope in therapeutic applications. Gas and solvent phase studies of structural and molecular characteristics of C-glycosyl flavonoid, isovitexin is investigated through hydrogen atom transfer mechanism (HAT), Electron transfer-proton transfer (ET-PT) and Sequential proton loss electron transfer (SPLET) by Density functional theory (DFT) using hybrid parameters. The computed values of the adiabatic ionization potential, electron affinity, hardness, softness, electronegativity and electrophilic index indicate that isovitexin possess good radical scavenging activity. The behavior of different -OH groups in polyphenolic compounds is assessed by considering electronic effects of the neighbouring groups and the overall geometry of molecule which in turn helps in analyzing the antioxidant capacity of the polyphenolic molecule. The studies indicate that the H-atom abstraction from 4'-OH site is preferred during the radical scavenging process. From Mulliken spin density analysis and FMOs, B-ring is found to be more delocalized center and capable of electron donation. Comparison of antioxidant activity of vitexin and isovitexin leads to the conclusion that isovitexin acts as a better radical scavenger. This is an evidence for the importance of position of glucose unit in the flavonoid.

  19. Design of multifunctional compounds for cardiovascular disease: from natural scaffolds to "classical" multitarget approach.

    PubMed

    Bisi, A; Gobbi, S; Belluti, F; Rampa, A

    2013-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease represents the main cause of death worldwide. Novel therapies to reduce elevated blood pressure and treat resistant hypertension, to consequently reduce the associated cardiovascular risk factors, are still required. Among the different strategies commonly used in medicinal chemistry to develop new molecules, the synthesis of multitarget/hybrid compounds combining two or more pharmacophore groups targeting simultaneously selected factors involved in cardiovascular diseases, has gained increasing interest. This review will focus on the most recent literature on multifunctional cardiovascular drugs, paying particular attention on hybrid compounds bearing natural scaffolds, considering that compounds derived from medicinal extracts are generally appealing for the medicinal chemist as they often bear the so-called "privileged structures". Moreover, taking into account many excellent reviews dealing with multitarget cardiovascular drugs published in the last few years, mainly devoted to RAAS inhibition and/or NO donors hybrid drugs, herein the most significant results obtained and the benefits and limitations of these approaches will be highlighted. PMID:23410171

  20. Numerical Study of Natural Convection within a Wavy Enclosure Using Meshfree Approach: Effect of Corner Heating

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Sonam; Bhargava, R.

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a numerical study of natural convection within a wavy enclosure heated via corner heating. The considered enclosure is a square enclosure with left wavy side wall. The vertical wavy wall of the enclosure and both of the corner heaters are maintained at constant temperature, Tc and Th, respectively, with Th > Tc while the remaining horizontal, bottom, top and side walls are insulated. A penalty element-free Galerkin approach with reduced gauss integration scheme for penalty terms is used to solve momentum and energy equations over the complex domain with wide range of parameters, namely, Rayleigh number (Ra), Prandtl number (Pr), and range of heaters in the x- and y-direction. Numerical results are represented in terms of isotherms, streamlines, and Nusselt number. It is observed that the rate of heat transfer depends to a great extent on the Rayleigh number, Prandtl number, length of the corner heaters and the shape of the heat transfer surface. The consistent performance of the adopted numerical procedure is verified by comparison of the results obtained through the present meshless technique with those existing in the literature. PMID:24672383

  1. The Performance of Available Approaches for Quantifying Airborne Exposure to Asbestos Generated from Natural Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berman, D.

    2012-12-01

    General options for quantifying airborne (exposure) concentrations to asbestos include (1) direct measurement, (2) simulation, and (3) emission/dispersion modeling (of measured asbestos concentrations in the source material). Suitable options for particular applications depend on whether one is evaluating current or future and short-term episodic or long-term average exposures. Moreover, because the character and the magnitude of exposure must both be determined for many applications, methods suitable for air- or bulk-phase measurements must exhibit appropriate performance. After all, it is only when we understand precisely what exposure estimates represent that we can interpret them meaningfully. What is known about the suitability and performance of various options for quantifying asbestos exposures generated from natural deposits will be reviewed in this talk with particular emphasis on an approach in which emission and dispersion of asbestos-containing dusts are modeled from bulk-phase measurements collected using the modified elutriator method (a method designed explicitly for this particular application).

  2. Discover natural compounds as potential phosphodiesterase-4B inhibitors via computational approaches.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Zhou, Nan; Liu, Wen; Li, Jianzong; Feng, Yu; Wang, Xiaoyun; Wu, Chuanfang; Bao, Jinku

    2016-05-01

    cAMP, intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate, is a ubiquitous second messenger that plays a key role in many physiological processes. PDE4B which can reduce the cAMP level by hydrolyzing cAMP to 5'-AMP has become a therapeutic target for the treatment of human diseases such as respiratory disorders, inflammation diseases, neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the use of currently available PDE4B inhibitors is restricted due to serious side effects caused by targeting PDE4D. Hence, we are attempting to find out subfamily-selective PDE4B inhibitors from natural products, using computer-aided approaches such as virtual screening, docking, and molecular dynamics simulation. Finally, four potential PDE4B-selective inhibitors (ZINC67912770, ZINC67912780, ZINC72320169, and ZINC28882432) were found. Compared to the reference drug (roflumilast), they scored better during the virtual screening process. Binding free energy for them was -317.51, -239.44, -215.52, and -165.77 kJ/mol, better than -129.05 kJ/mol of roflumilast. The pharmacophore model of the four candidate inhibitors comprised six features, including one hydrogen bond donor, four hydrogen bond acceptors, and one aromatic ring feature. It is expected that our study will pave the way for the design of potent PDE4B-selective inhibitors of new drugs to treat a wide variety of diseases such as asthma, COPD, psoriasis, depression, etc. PMID:26159554

  3. Two different approaches in skin cancer therapy: using a photosensitizer/a natural product

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abraham, Annie; Gayathri, Devi D.; Cibin, T. R.; Ramaiah, D.

    2010-02-01

    This paper deals with two potential modes for the treatment of skin cancer-one a novel approach using a squaraine dye and the other using a natural product- the flavonoid fraction of Saraca asoka. Squaraine dye is a photosensitizing agent, which is preferentially taken up and retained by the tumor cells and when irradiated with high power visible light results in the selective destruction of the tumor cells by photodynamic therapy. The uniqueness of this mode of treatment lies in the selective destruction of tumor cells without affecting the neighbouring normal cells, which is much advantageous over radiation therapy now frequently used. The chemopreventive and therapeutic effects of the plant component are explored as well. The experimental models were Swiss albino mice in which skin tumor was induced by DMBA. Marked reduction in tumor volume and burden in the treated groups were observed. The reversal of biochemical enzyme markers like rhodanese, myeloperoxidase, β-D glucuronidase, lactate dehydrogenase, hexokinase and sialic acid to near normal levels were observed in the PDT and flavonoid fraction treated groups. The live photographs of the experimental animals and histopathological data further support the obtained results. The study assumes importance as it combines a traditional treatment mode and a novel aspect in cancer therapy using the same experimental models. Also this is the first report on PDT using a squaraine dye for skin cancer therapy in vivo.

  4. Natural hazards in the Great Caucasus range on the background of climate change - risk maps for the Kazbegi and Mleta areas (Georgia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Tatjana; Gaprindashvili, George; Gobejishvili, Ramin; Keggenhoff, Ina; Elizbarashvili, Mariam; Kalandadze, Besik; Lomidze, Nino; King, Lorenz

    2013-04-01

    features of the subsurface materials, and possibly by lowering the movement persistence up to a critical level in the aeration zone. Kazbegi and Mleta belong to an extremely complex mountainous area of Georgia according to its geology and the scale and frequency of natural disaster processes. Since the year 2000, the activation of these processes results in increased damage for population, farm lands and engineering facilities that can be observed almost every year. The occurrence intervals are becoming significantly shorter. As a result, more populated areas, engineering facilities and industrial objects have to be included in the risk zones.

  5. A Response-to-Intervention Approach to Decreasing Early Literacy Differences in First Graders from Different Socioeconomic Backgrounds: Evidence for the Intervention Validity of the DIBELS

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hagans, Kristi S.

    2008-01-01

    Federal legislation mandates that local education agencies provide quality, evidence-based supplemental educational services to struggling learners. Nowhere is this more salient than in underperforming schools serving children from low-income backgrounds who are at risk for developing learning problems. The study described in this article…

  6. Taming the Wild: Approaches to Nature in Japanese Early Childhood Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burke, Rachael S.

    2014-01-01

    The Japanese early childhood curriculum provides ample opportunities for children to interact with nature and to learn about natural phenomena. However, using Kalland (1995) and Martinez's (2008) theories about Japanese constructions of nature, this paper argues that most Japanese early childhood experiences do not constitute direct contact with…

  7. Synergistic approach for treatment of chicken coccidiosis using berberine - A plant natural product.

    PubMed

    Malik, Tauseef Ahmad; Kamili, Azra N; Chishti, M Z; Tanveer, Syed; Ahad, Shazia; Johri, R K

    2016-04-01

    Despite the advent of anticoccidial drugs and vaccines, coccidiosis continues to result in substantial economic losses to the poultry industry. Berberine, a natural alkaloid is well known in studies involving synergistic approaches, thereby reducing the dosage of principal drugs. Therefore, a study was designed to see whether a synergistic anticoccidial effect could be obtained between amprolium and berberine, in vivo using broiler chicken. Anticoccidial activity was measured in comparison to the reference drug amprolium on the basis of oocyst output reduction, mean weight gain and feed conversion ratio. Oocyst output was measured using Mc-Masters counting technique. Different combinations of berberine and amprolium were tested and out of which 1:1 ratio was the most effective for controlling these parasites. Oral gavaging of 100(50 + 50) mg/kg body weight of 1:1 ratio of amprolium and berberine caused the equivalent reduction in number of oocysts (38.85 ± 9.61) one day prior to that of standard drug amprolium (49.95 ± 16.65) as well as pure berberine (44.4 ± 9.61) used in the study. Weight gain of birds was also highest in the synergistic group (1547.43 ± 12.86) among all the infected groups. Besides feed conversion ratio in the synergistic group was also better (1.387 ± 0.026). The results of this study proved the effectiveness of both amprolium and berberine and revealed synergism between amprolium and berberine against coccidian oocysts, confirmed by significant reduction in the number of coccidian oocysts shed in the feces, leading to better weight gain and improved feed conversion ratio. The study deep-rooted the synergistic potential of berberine, a natural bioactive compound for controlling a protozoan parasite and the results of this study corroborate with its use for treatment of severe diarrhoea, amoebiasis and intestinal infections. PMID:26802524

  8. Mapping Natural Terroir Units using a multivariate approach and legacy data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priori, Simone; Barbetti, Roberto; L'Abate, Giovanni; Bucelli, Piero; Storchi, Paolo; Costantini, Edoardo A. C.

    2014-05-01

    Natural Terroir Unit (NTU) is a volume of earth's biosphere that is characterized by a stable set of variables related to the topography, climate, geology and soil. Methods to study the association soil-climate-vines are numerous, but the main question is always: which variables are actually important for the quality and the typicality of grapevines, and then wine, for a particular scale? This work aimed to setting up a multivariate methodology to define viticultural terroirs at the province scale (1:125,000), using viticultural and oenological legacy data. The study area was the Siena province in the Tuscany region (Central Italy). The reference grapevine cultivar was "Sangiovese", which is the most important cultivar of the region. The methodology was based upon the creation of a GIS storing several viticultural and oenological legacy data of 55 experimental vineyards (vintages between 1989-2009), the long term climate data, the digital elevation model, the soil-landscapes (land systems) and the soil profiles with the soil analysis. The selected viticultural and oenological parameters were: must sugar content, sugar accumulation rate from veraison to harvest, must titratable acidity, grape yield per vine, number of bunches for vine, mean bunch weight, and mean weight of berries. The environmental parameters related to viticulture, selected by an explorative PCA, were: elevation, mean annual temperature, mean soil temperature, annual precipitation, clay, sand and gravel content of soils, soil water availability, redoximorphic features and rooting depth. The geostatistical models of the variables interpolation were chosen on the best of mean standardize error, obtained by the cross-validation, between "Simple cokriging with varying local mean", "Multicollocated simple cokriging with varying local mean" and "Regression kriging". These variables were used for a k-means clustering aimed to map the Natural Terroirs Units (NTUs). The viticultural areas of Siena province

  9. Insightful monitoring of natural flood risk management features using a low-cost and participatory approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Starkey, Eleanor; Barnes, Mhari; Quinn, Paul; Large, Andy

    2016-04-01

    Pressures associated with flooding and climate change have significantly increased over recent years. Natural Flood Risk Management (NFRM) is now seen as being a more appropriate and favourable approach in some locations. At the same time, catchment managers are also encouraged to adopt a more integrated, evidence-based and bottom-up approach. This includes engaging with local communities. Although NFRM features are being more readily installed, there is still limited evidence associated with their ability to reduce flood risk and offer multiple benefits. In particular, local communities and land owners are still uncertain about what the features entail and how they will perform, which is a huge barrier affecting widespread uptake. Traditional hydrometric monitoring techniques are well established but they still struggle to successfully monitor and capture NFRM performance spatially and temporally in a visual and more meaningful way for those directly affected on the ground. Two UK-based case studies are presented here where unique NFRM features have been carefully designed and installed in rural headwater catchments. This includes a 1km2 sub-catchment of the Haltwhistle Burn (northern England) and a 2km2 sub-catchment of Eddleston Water (southern Scotland). Both of these pilot sites are subject to prolonged flooding in winter and flash flooding in summer. This exacerbates sediment, debris and water quality issues downstream. Examples of NFRM features include ponds, woody debris and a log feature inspired by the children's game 'Kerplunk'. They have been tested and monitored over the 2015-2016 winter storms using low-cost techniques by both researchers and members of the community ('citizen scientists'). Results show that monitoring techniques such as regular consumer specification time-lapse cameras, photographs, videos and 'kite-cams' are suitable for long-term and low-cost monitoring of a variety of NFRM features. These techniques have been compared against

  10. Approach to the synthesis of natural and modified oligonucleotides by the phosphotriester method using O-nucleophilic intramolecular catalysis.

    PubMed

    Efimov, Vladimir A; Molchanova, Natalia S; Chakhmakhcheva, Oksana G

    2007-01-01

    An approach to the solid phase synthesis of natural and modified oligonucleotides using phosphotriester technique has been developed. Particularly, this method allows the synthesis of ribo- and deoxyribo-oligonucleotides containing various 2'-modified mononucleotides as well as stereodefined nucleotide phosphorothioate analogues. PMID:18058542